This article is part of a series of selected ESG case studies submitted by participants in the 2017 GRESB Infrastructure Assessment.
“This initiative was proposed by one of our landscaping team members and the results have shown we can address workplace sustainability challenges through lateral, innovative thinking. This initiative has provided a safer work environment for our employees and yielded a more effective outcome through the use of natural resources with zero use of herbicides or pesticides”
– Murray Harding, General Manager Road Operations, EastLink
Purpose of the project
The EastLink landscaping team identified a parcel of EastLink land approximately one acre in size that needed to be cleared of woody weeds and non-native varietals, including blackberry and flax-leaved broom (both officially declared as “noxious weeds”). This area also needed to be cleared to reduce fire risk. The steep and rocky terrain meant traditional weed management activities were difficult, expensive and had safety risks for landscape maintenance staff.
The EastLink landscaping Leading Hand researched natural weed management techniques and discussed the need with a specialist from Graze Away – a company providing goats for habitat restoration projects. The approach of using goats is a novel one for a modern road asset but was considered feasible as long as the area was well contained. To ensure goat and public safety, the goats needed access to a reliable water source and had no access to the EastLink motorway area or EastLink bicycle and walking Trail.
In December 2016 the first herd of 8 goats were introduced into the project area and two replacement herds cycled through over the following 9 months to keep the clearance rate up. The progress of weed clearance was regularly inspected to verify the effectiveness and coverage was as expected.
Excellent results were seen with complete removal of weeds including blackberry and flax-leaved broom. Goats kill the weeds by pruning the foliage and leaf buds, which exhausts the root system and kills the plant. Unlike glyphosate (a herbicide), this means soil fungi, insects and worms are unharmed. All unwanted vegetation has been dealt with on-site by the goats, so no off-site handling. The potential fire load was also minimised and has not required further attention this summer. Now cleared, and with the addition of a little natural dung, the area will provide a better habitat for natural ground fauna and won’t need to be retreated for a number of years.
This case study was submitted by EastLink.
3Degrees helps Akamai drive down emissions
Akamai shows that companies with smaller loads can still play a leadership role in combating climate change AKAMAI’S GOAL: 50% renewables by 2020 Reduce GHG emissions below 2015 levels by 2020 Akamai Technologies, the world’s largest cloud delivery platform, recently invested in an 80 megawatt wind farm in Texas. This investment is designed to match […]Read more
Community Engagement at Regent’s Place
Purpose of the project: British Land’s 30-year involvement at Regent’s Place in London’s West End has seen the campus double in size, providing accommodation and amenities for around 15,000 workers and residents, as well as the local community. It is a great example of how we are able to create outstanding work environments by […]Read more
Climate Change Risk Assessment
Purpose of the project: During 2013, the Goodman Group and the Goodman Australia Industrial Fund (GAIF), jointly undertook a holistic climate change risk assessment in partnership with independent consultants Edge Environment. Edge have been working closely with the Insurance Council of Australia on a similar project for the residential sector. The purpose of the assessment, […]Read more