We are thrilled to announce that Ground Control has been recognised as an outstanding sustainability leader, awarded the title of Thames Estuary Visionary in recognition for our determined action to help clients to minimize impact on the environment and achieve sustainability goals across 50,000 commercial sites in the UK.

Thames Estuary Visionary

The Thames Gateway is currently working on its 2050 plan to create 1.3m new jobs and generate £190bn additional GVA for the UK.  The vision running through this is to make the region cleaner and healthier as it establishes itself as the UK’s growth gateway to the world.

The Thames Estuary Visionary scheme recognises sustainable, green businesses based in the Thames Estuary, East London, North Kent and South Essex region.  As a Visionary business, Ground Control will now work with Government-backed Estuary Envoy, Kate Willard OBE, to deliver her ambition of creating the greatest, greenest Estuary in the world.

Thames Estuary Green Leader

‘Caring for the Environment’ is not simply our strapline, it runs deep within Ground Control’s DNA.  It is this activity to accelerate the pace of change towards a sustainable world, not just within our own business operations but also within our client partners, which captured the imagination of Estuary Envoy Kate Willard and led to our award.

Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy, said:

This carbon-neutral business has not only achieved remarkable things for themselves but is helping clients across the UK give back to the environment. They are truly leaders in sustainability, and I am delighted to welcome Ground Control as an Estuary Visionary.

Sustainable approaches to business

With 700 direct members of staff, plus a further 6,000 in our field teams, Ground Control is taking purposeful steps to mitigate the environmental impact caused by its operations.

We have removed single-use plastics from all operations and offices, and only sources certified sustainable timber and timber-based products (e.g.FSC/PEFC).

Ground Control green targets:

  • To ensure that 100% of hand tools are battery operated by 2025.
  • To expand our current fleet of 100 passenger electric vehicles to include all company cars within the next two years.
  • To phase out the use of higher emission fleet vehicles as soon as possible.
  • To help every staff member who is not a company car driver to use an electric vehicle, if they want to, through the company fleet policy.

Carbon Neutral grounds maintenance leader

The Thames Estuary Growth Board was impressed by the level of determined green action we are taking.  Most notably, that Ground Control has reached carbon neutral status, five years ahead of our 2025 target.

The award highlighted our work with Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainable Leadership and applauded our commitment to review Ground Control’s wider environmental strategy and set out how we will best engage with clients and the supply chain to reduce emissions and establish science-based sustainability targets.

Judges also recognised The Evergreen Fund as an exemplary example of good green growth.  Established in 2019 as a vehicle for Ground Control to invest five per cent of its annual post-tax profit, each year, into sustainable environmental initiatives.  Our aim is to invest £5 million into the Fund by 2025.

Helping clients achieve greener projects

Most satisfying was the recognition Ground Control gained for the ecological education and consultation services provided to clients, with example sustainability successes including:

  • Tesco Sustainable Tree Planting Strategy – 100,000 trees planted in 13 sites across the UK, creating sustainable legacy woodland and providing multiple environmental benefits.
  • Cumbria Wildlife Trust & Highways England – 115 hectares of road verge transformation to rich wildflower meadow grassland in Cumbria as part of the Get Cumbria Buzzing Campaign & National Pollinator Strategy.
  • Thames Water ‘Wild Hampton Project’ – A ‘test bed’ biodiversity garden designed to encourage biodiversity, public engagement, educational opportunities and create a precedent for other sites.
  • United Utilities five-year Biodiversity Action Plan – Production and implementation the plan at the 100-acre Lingley Mere head office site, including wildflower grassland creation, aquatic habitat development, native tree and shrub planting, removal of non-native species, increased staff engagement.

Kim Morrish, Co-Founder, said: 

We are extremely proud that Ground Control is leading our sector as a force of significant green change, not only within the grounds maintenance and landscaping industry but within wider industry and beyond. Since 2004 we have demonstrated how business can be a force for social and environmental sustainability.  By focussing on science-based targets and evidence-based certification, we are leading by example and sharing our knowledge gained through our far-reaching initiatives to protect and improve the environment.

Read the full Thames Estuary Visionary story here >>

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