Future proofing your landscaping business with green technology

EcoTeq offers a range of innovative, zero-emission landscaping and cleansing equipment.

A quick look at the finance news headlines might leave you feeling stressed about how you’ll continue to operate and scale your business profitably in our post-pandemic world. So now, more than ever, it’s important to take the time to consider the many options available to help future proof your business for years to come.

Marcus and James Thomas, co-owners of Australian Native Landscapes, have done just that.

Australian Native Landscapes provides commercial landscape management services for blue-chip clients like Vicinity Centres and CBRE. When Marcus and his brother, James, took over the family business in 2018, future proofing and sustainability were two of the core pillars of success on which the brothers agreed to focus.

Offering a range of innovative, zeroemission landscaping and cleansing equipment, EcoTeq was glad to assist with the transition to an electric commercial zero-turn mower that met the sustainability expectations of Australian Native Landscapes’ customers.

What is future proofing?

Future proofing your business is preparing how your business will adapt and thrive in the face of future changes and uncertainties. It involves developing strategies that will enable your business to remain competitive and relevant over the long term despite emerging challenges, such as new technology, a shift in client preferences, or a competitor on the rise.

Future proofing requires adopting a mindset of innovation and growth. By exploring new ideas and technologies, you can potentially diversify revenue streams by offering new services to reach new markets, and ultimately increase your revenue.

That’s exactly the approach Australian Native Landscapes has taken, adopting electric outdoor landscaping equipment to offer a more sustainable outdoor-facilities maintenance solution to its clients. And it’s a service offer that’s only set to grow in demand!

Staying abreast of industry changes

Knowing what’s happening in your industry is a key aspect of future proofing your business. However, it’s important to ensure you are seeking information from reliable and credible sources.

Marcus and James stay up to date with industry news, including advances in electric and zero-emission technologies, by:
• Subscribing to relevant trade magazines
• Visiting landscape and related trade shows
• Conducting their own research online via trusted sources
• Keeping in touch with industry bodies such as the Landscaping Victoria Master Landscapers, and
• Speaking to machinery and equipment suppliers.

When they were considering buying an electric mower, the brothers found many of the big-name brands were only producing smaller, residential electric mowers. However, their business needed longer battery life and the cutting performance to rival a diesel- or petrol-powered commercial mower.

“EcoTeq was quick and responsive. Their customer service is fantastic. They did a demo quickly and then we were glad to do the deal,” said Marcus. “What was compelling for us was the environmental and the social benefits of moving to greener and more future-proof technology.”


Machine maintenance was another compelling factor.

“It’s always been a challenge to make sure we’re maintaining equipment effectively and keeping that cost down. Knowing maintenance is reduced by the technology is key. We don’t have our own in-house mechanics, so knowing how responsive EcoTeq is, and that it’s a lot easier for your own staff to maintain vehicles to an excellent standard, is a bonus for us,” said Marcus.

Future proofing your business is preparing how your business will adapt and thrive in the face of future changes and uncertainties.

Practical steps to future proof your business

When considering ways to future-proof a business, Marcus sees three clear areas to focus on:
1. Decide on your legacy: what lasting impact do you want to have on the world? A landscaping maintenance business has a significant impact on the environment through its equipment choice, emissions generated, biophilia and the chemicals it uses. Marcus and James want to ensure Australian Native Landscapes’ legacy is a sustainable one. “As people who are specialists in green life and promote our living environment, it would be remiss of us if we weren’t happy to do what we can to improve the environment by moving away from fossil fuels,” said Marcus.
2. Adapt to your customer needs: anticipating and adapting to changing customer preferences and needs helps to future proof a business.Their customers are large, public-facing institutions that have environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements. “Our customers expect a more environmentally friendly way of offering landscape management services,” said a concerned Marcus. By adopting green tech, like electric mowers, Australian Native Landscapes is already ticking the ESG boxes its customer base needs (or soon will).
3. Be proactive: to be future proof, Marcus believes you can’t be reactive. You can be proactive by staying up to date with industry news and developments, and he recommends staying ahead of regulations and legislation. In Australian Native Landscapes’ line of work, by switching from fossil-fuel-powered vehicles and equipment to electric now, rather than waiting until the regulations are inevitably rolled out across Australia, the brothers have set their business up to be ahead of future changes.

With electric equipment, landscaping businesses can operate in broadened hours of operation.

Overcoming resistance to change

Marcus and James recognise the greatest barrier for a company to adopt electric landscaping equipment can be its people.

“Transition is a human behaviour change piece,” said Marcus. “It’s about helping people get used to what needs to be done for the next stage to ensure the new equipment can be stored and charged in the right location.

“The work you do today affects tomorrow.”

He notes how important it is to create an awareness of what you’re doing in the workplace, and more importantly, why. With EcoTeq providing demonstrations to the team, they could touch, feel and use the equipment, helping them overcome any preconceptions of electric OPE.

“Help people to buy into the fact that battery-powered equipment is capable. Help them to understand how it aligns with your future vision. Once the day-to-day is taken care of, adoption follows,” said Marcus.

“The operational aspect is very painless. All you need to do is get an electrician in to make sure you have the right power locations in the right storage areas. It didn’t take too much effort to change our operations. We now plug in the EcoTeq mower and the job’s done.”

Side benefits of future proofing

Landscape management businesses have always had to be conscious of operating hours while using equipment due to noise emissions, especially in high-density residential areas. However, with electric equipment, these businesses can operate in broadened hours of operation. With their blue-chip client base, the absence of noise complaints has provided the best indication yet that the much quieter electric equipment isn’t raising the ire of residents.

Another benefit of future-proofing your business is that it can help attract and retain top staff. People want to work for a stable business with longevity on its agenda, and that can offer its staff opportunities for growth and development.

Future proof with an electric ride-on mower

Register to request a demonstration of EcoTeq landscaping and cleansing equipment. Log on to ecoteq.com.au for more information and to see the whole range of electric OPE.



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