June 18 2019 12:00 AM

The electric pro landscape tools we have now are good enough to replace gas-powered models, Stihl and AGZA claim.

Photo: American Green Zone Alliance

Stihl U.S. Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, and The American Green Zone Alliance, Los Angeles, California, have entered into a unique collaboration to promote the benefits of battery-powered professional landscape tools. The new effort pairs Stihl’s commercial grade battery-powered landscape tools with AGZA’s Green Zone education and certification programs for sustainable grounds maintenance.

For a decade, AGZA has worked to advance zero-emissions sustainable grounds maintenance strategies. It’s advocated for and supported the transition from gas to electric operations at schools, universities, sports facilities, golf courses, HOAs, retirement communities, hospitals, hotels and even entire cities. AGZA’s certification programs create and verify AGZA Green Zones and educate and certify landscapers as AGZA Service Professionals.

AGZA says its Green Zones are scalable models proven to slash hourly operational costs, reduce noise levels and completely eliminate smog-forming emissions, toxic particulate matter and greenhouse gases from grounds maintenance work.

AGZA, a sustainability consultancy for the grounds maintenance industry, was founded to give landscape company clients and crews the most credible advice as to which manufacturers and tools are capable of commercial work production. Its mission is to transition the entire grounds maintenance industry from using noisy, highly polluting gas-powered machines to sustainable operations using quieter zero-emissions electric equipment.

The organization plans to showcase the Stihl AP line along with a select few other brands of AGZA-Approved commercial-grade battery-electric equipment in its advocacy efforts with mayors and city councils, public works departments, sustainability organizations and academic, municipal and commercial grounds maintenance crews.

In that effort, AGZA offers two consulting services. One, it educates and certifies commercial grounds maintenance crews as AGZA Service Pros; and two, it certifies properties maintained with quiet zero-emissions battery-electric equipment and hand tools as AGZA Green Zones. AGZA says Green Zones reduce noise pollution, eliminate toxic and carcinogenic emissions, greenhouse gases, solid waste and soil and water pollution.

“It is noteworthy that the clients of most of our major AGZA Green Zones over the past five years have chosen Stihl as their best opportunity to transition from gas to electric while maintaining their professional work loads and aesthetics,” says Luke Massman-Johnson, AGZA’s communications director.

“AGZA’s value and credibility depend on our voice remaining absolutely independent,” says Massman-Johnson. “We test and vet tools from all the top manufacturers ourselves, then put the best in the hands of professional crews in commercial, municipal and academic settings. We insist on the most candid feedback from operators, both positive and negative. That’s our only guide in determining which brands and tools are truly viable to replace gas machines in large-scale operations.”

“AGZA gives our full-throated endorsement to the Stihl AP line,” adds Massman-Johnson. “Their cordless tools are capable of performing full-time commercial-grade grounds maintenance tasks well enough to replace gas tools. If you are considering making the transition to low-noise zero-emissions operations, the tools already exist to get a professional job done.”

“For generations, people have trusted Stihl to help maintain the beauty of their land. Now, with the Stihl battery-powered electric options, we are helping preserve natural beauty on a whole new level,” says Roger Phelps, corporate communications Manager at Stihl. “Our new relationship with AGZA will help bring additional awareness to communities and landscape professionals about the benefits of commercial-grade battery products to their businesses and the environment.”

AGZA says that by eliminating the expense of gas and oil and dramatically reducing costs for maintenance and parts, AGZA Green Zones achieve very healthy return on investment and significant ongoing profitability over gas operations. The organization is committed to helping municipalities, schools, commercial property owners and residents make the transition to sustainable land care quickly, safely, effectively and profitably.

Stihl Inc. manufactures both gasoline-powered and electric handheld outdoor power equipment. Its products are sold through a network of more than 9,000 authorized dealers from coast to coast and not in “big box” stores.