Environment agency

Local Environment Agency opts in to Husqvarna

A local UK Environment Agency team is reportedly impressed by the reduced cost and comparable performance of Husqvarna’s zero-emission hand-held tools.

Working year-round in the London boroughs of Dagenham and Barking, the Environment Agency’s Operations Delivery team operates machinery daily to clear local ditches and rivers to prevent flooding. A typical day may involve strimming flood embankments to clearing trees and other obstructions from river channels and culverts.

Like other organisations looking after community green spaces, they traditionally used fossil-fuelled equipment like chainsaws and brush cutters, but this was at odds with the organisation’s road map for cutting carbon emissions and reaching net zero.

Since 2020, led by team leader Leon Palmer, the team has been swapping out their fossil-fuelled hand-held equipment for modern, cleaner, greener battery-powered technology, saving money and reducing carbon emissions, and improving their health and wellbeing too.

Budgets are tight so the team is replacing tools when they reach the end of their workable life. So far, they have introduced two Husqvarna 520iRX brush cutters, the Husqvarna 520iHE3 hedge cutter and the Husqvarna 536 LiXP chainsaw (recently updated to 535iXP).

The team has been pleasantly surprised. They have found that the new battery-operated tools cost less, reduce Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), are far quieter to use, and have comparable performance to the old fossil fuel alternatives. They are also finding the new equipment is cheaper to buy and service, with lower running costs.

Says Leon Palmer: “My team is so much happier with this equipment. It’s light, easy to use and just doesn’t vibrate like the more traditional petrol equipment did. We still have to use our petrol chainsaw for the heaviest duty jobs like tree felling but by switching out the rest we estimate we’re saving half a tonne of CO2 emissions every year. That’s equivalent to charging your smartphone 60,000 times or driving 1,250 miles in an average petrol car1.”

Leon suggests that other organisations tasked with clearing and maintaining green spaces could do the same saying: “I’ve always been passionate about the environment, ever since I watched my first David Attenborough as a kid. Working for an organisation like the EA is brilliant because they have supported me in making this change. If every small team like mine, whether in the EA, local authorities, or any organisation working in public green spaces made this change it would make a real difference to reducing our country’s carbon emissions and reaching net zero.”

Jonathan Snowball, Head of Business Unit Professional UK at Husqvarna comments: “We are proud that the Environment Agency’s Operations Delivery team has chosen our handheld battery products to maintain these London boroughs.

“As a brand, we pride ourselves on leading the way in innovation and sustainability for the future, helping our partners make the important switch to battery without compromising on quality or results. Our professional battery products provide an advanced solution for achieving zero emissions as well as being extremely quiet in operation and cost-effective, so it’s great that we can play a significant part in the Environment Agency’s plans to reduce its carbon footprint and reach net zero.”


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