The campus at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is filled with flowerbeds, shaded walkways, turf areas, and more than 6,000 trees, and this fall semester, students have returned to a campus that is even more green and quiet, according to an article on the university’s Penn Sustainability page.
BrightView, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, a leading landscape services company, has been maintaining the landscape at Penn since the early 2000s and announced last year a commitment to begin deploying electric mowers and other equipment across the country.
The team that maintains the campus is now operating entirely with low-emission electric mowers and hand-held equipment, according to the article. With each mower running an average of 300 hours per year, the team expects this will eliminate the amount of emissions equivalent to approximately 1,500 cars averaging 12,000 miles each year. These numbers are based on findings from a recent study on emissions by lawn and garden equipment by a California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“This equipment significantly reduces the environmental impact of maintaining our campus which includes noise-pollution,” says Craig Roncace, urban park manager for the University’s Facilities and Real Estate Services Division.
According to the manufacturer, the mowers BrightView uses on the campus emit only 78 decibels versus a standard gas mower that emits 95 decibels.
BrightView has been using the equipment on campus this summer and faculty have reportedly confirmed that while sitting near a window in a campus building you cannot hear the mower running just outside.
While BrightView uses this equipment across the country, the Philadelphia team is the first to go 100 percent electric.
“Our partnership with the university played a big role in getting our team to this milestone,” said Dante DeMaria, Associate Branch Manager at BrightView. “It’s quite a process because the equipment requires charging stations in both our branch and trailers to keep running all day.”
“We take pride in the opportunity to create a more sustainable and quiet campus for the students and faculty here and it’s only possible through a great partnership, said Ahmed. “We continue to look for ways make our operations more environmentally-friendly and assist clients in achieving their sustainability goals.”