The science of caring for landscapes is rapidly evolving. Some of the most exciting discoveries are coming from researchers who are discovering better ways to achieve desirable results with fewer inputs and the incorporation of sustainable and organic materials to deliver the least intrusive experience possible. Breakthroughs also include new rescue treatments and inoculations which can be incorporated consistent with responsible stewardship.
Before incorporating any new ingredients into our programs SavATree and SavaLawn test them extensively to make sure they provide the results that are expected. We utilize a three tiered protocol for ingredient evaluation which includes reviewing result consistency, environmental profile and cost. Our program directors leverage the latest research on new products through ongoing contact with various universities and extension agents, including: Cornell University, University of Maryland, Morton Arboretum, University of Massachusetts, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin, Penn State, University of Connecticut, Ohio State University, Purdue University and similar organizations. While all the regulated ingredients in our program have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on landscapes; our organic ingredients meet the rigorous requirements of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), the same standards as the production of organic food!
Soil that is rich in available nutrients is critical to plant health. We utilize only slow release nitrogen which nurtures plant material and enhances growth without overstimulation. In our lawn care program we have eliminated phosphorous and reduced the use of nitrogen companywide by utilizing bio-pack micronutrients that include beneficial bacteria. In the plant health care division we have a custom mix that not only includes macro and micro nutrients but organic matter, seakelp and other “food” to feed beneficial soil microbes. As the science evolves, so do our fertilization and nutrient blends.
SavATree and SavaLawn operations are managed through Lean Sigma principles which require the ferreting out of waste at all levels of the organization. In our business, waste can have negative environmental impact, so we scrupulously avoid defects, overproduction, over processing, excessive inventory and needless transportation, motion and waiting. We are continuously monitoring our carbon footprint both internally in our operations and externally on client properties. We’ve retooled our business processes to eliminate most of the paper elements by harnessing technology, and when we do print, we work with certified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) printers.
Sustainability is central to all that we do, and with over 700 employees it is the core theme of our training programs. Our arborists and field specialists are mostly degreed professionals who have acquired all required licenses and certifications to do business in the states where we operate. Most have also obtained continuing education credits and advanced training either through our in house self-advancement training program, or through recognized industry educators. We imprint the company’s commitment to the environment from day one in our formal education programs, online modules, and on the job training.
With over 380 trucks company wide it is extremely important that they are routed efficiently. Several years ago we licensed software originally developed by UPS that has enabled us to ensure the most efficient routes possible for our fleet, while maximizing customer service. In addition, our no idling policy has further reduced our fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Applying the right product at the right time is key to positive outcomes on the landscape. Kicking off each season with comprehensive, timely preventatives helps to avoid costly and intrusive treatments later in the season. Incorporating curatives when needed, at the first sign of trouble also lessens the need for additional interventions. Timing is everything and our proprietary database software is the best in the industry to ensure that client landscapes get what they need, when they need it.
We feel that the best way for us to give back to our communities is to share our knowledge of environmentally sensible landscape stewardship. Our team enthusiastically participates in over 50 community and trade events each year. Over 500 people attend our workshops, talks, garden walks and webinars annually, with all of them focused on bringing sustainable practices to the residential and community landscape. Our passion is palpable in the classroom and in the field!
Choosing sustainability credentials can be complicated for a business such as ours. Looking initially within our industry we became the first multi branch company to be accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association for sound business practices and environmental stewardship. We have International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists on staff, with many earning state level certification where offered as well. We are also proud to hold the following designations: