Davey contributes to solving some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. Innovation is vitally important as we tackle new and evolving issues each day. Our commitment to innovation is mutually beneficial for our company and our clients, turning environmental research and innovation into cost savings and revenue generation. We promote innovative thinking across our operations, encouraging employees to submit innovative ideas at any time and providing tools to turn those ideas into reality.
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Davey’s commitment to innovation is fundamental to the success of our Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan. Ongoing innovation ensures our clients receive the latest science-based horticultural and environmental services and next generation of plant health care strategies.
Building off our materiality assessment, we evaluated our innovation management processes in 2017. We found that innovation arises organically across our operations, often contributing to our corporate responsibility goals and our business offerings. Based on these findings, we implemented a more fluid process to enable the Davey Institute to support and provide counsel to foster innovation.
For example, in tandem with our bold energy reduction goal, the Davey Institute worked with our equipment department to vet new battery-powered equipment. We began testing robotic lawn mowers on client property in 2019 with the goal to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90 percent. In response to growing client interest in water reduction and water efficiency goals, the Davey Institute also led a cross-functional team to develop potential water management services.
In addition, we are exploring new ways to connect trees and landscapes to the Internet of Things (IoT). By incorporating sensors into landscapes, clients in our pilot program could eventually monitor their landscapes in real time through mobile technology. Sensors could also alert Davey to issues that enable us to proactively address environmental conditions, plant health and safety.
Because innovation is a material topic, Davey is developing an appropriate and meaningful metric, tied to strategic direction and goals, that we can track and use to report progress annually. We do not currently have such a metric available.