Get the inside scoop on the American Green Zone Alliance

January 23, 2023 -  By
(Photo: American Green Zone Alliance)

(Photo: American Green Zone Alliance)

Earlier this year, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) partnered with the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) to highlight a responsible transition from gas-powered to zero-emission equipment in the landscape industry.

AGZA, an organization that promotes and facilitates lower-impact operations and sustainable land care, and NALP work with federal, state and local policymakers to provide landscape industry companies with resources and training to transition to battery-powered equipment.

AGZA President Daniel Mabe sat down with Landscape Management to share the resources his organization provides for green industry operations.

Daniel Mabe

Daniel Mabe

LM: How does AGZA help professionals transition to battery-powered equipment?

DM: AGZA was conceptualized in 2008 and initially formed in 2010. I started a two-person gas-free landscaping business for routine maintenance in 2006. I built the business to nearly 70 clients in two years. I wanted to sell the business for a profit and move on to another endeavor. Even though it was profitable, no one wanted it. This was in what we call the pre-lithium era.

So, we formed a team and created AGZA. We started to develop print and digital learning materials based on our experience of performing low-impact services for the landscape maintenance industry.

We started conducting workshop classroom sessions for nonprofits and municipalities. We slowly refined and solidified our process and continued to add content.

Eventually, we received assistance from the likes of Jamie Banks, founder of Quiet Communities (an organization that helps communities reduce harm from noise and pollution), who was instrumental in helping us organize and structure the three distinct certifications we offer today. They are for properties, people and equipment.

LM: What kind of certifications and courses are available for professionals?

DM: We created AGZA Service Pro Certificate Courses and Certification. Since the transition from gas equipment is full of challenges, AGZA helps the industry make informed decisions when transitioning to battery and electric technologies through our online courses, remote and in-person classroom sessions and workshops and field tutorials and training.

We provide specific standard operating procedures and case studies to educate folks on the realities of battery electric operations. Also included are costs, workload, economic feasibility and how to effectively market low-impact businesses.

Our first priority is to help anyone transitioning into battery-powered equipment to do it safely and become solvent and profitable as soon as possible. AGZA helps management and crews avoid predictable pitfalls. The upfront cost of battery electric equipment vs. gas equipment can range from 25 to 60 percent higher.

There are considerations and information businesses need to ensure they have the best chance to run a profitable business model, so all can enjoy the benefits of low-impact operations wherever they conduct their operations. A free preview of the 15-lesson course is available on the AGZA site at

LM: What does AGZA Field Tested Certified (AFTC) equipment mean for contractors?

DM: AGZA evaluates AFTC battery electric tool platforms independently. Any new tool brought to our doorstep has to go through rugged and torturous field testing before we introduce a tool line to a client seeking unbiased data and information about battery electric equipment.

Heavy use and battery cycling in extreme heat in humid and dry regions, drop tests and abuse that occurs when loading and unloading equipment, and testing in moisture/rain conditions to substantiate the manufacturers’ ingress protection ratings are some of the things we prioritized.

We know that folks are having success with brands that are not AFTC certified, but we encourage people to research, gather peer-to-peer information and utilize AGZA AFTC as an extra layer of their discovery process to make informed purchasing decisions, which we feel a contractor cannot make by a simple one-day sampling of tools.

Companies and institutions need to look three, four and five years into the future to understand their chances of a solid return on investment. That can only come from “independent” information sharing amongst industry operators and professionals.

LM: Why is your testing important?

DM: AGZA acknowledges that all testing from other sources is important. Our testing is specific to field use. At the top of the list is safety, and we will keep saying it over and over again, battery equipment is a more expensive upfront cost and can be a gamble if the contractor chooses the wrong equipment, and tools and charging infrastructure are not taken care of properly.

AGZA cares about this industry and hopes successfully implemented electric operations will increase revenues, profit margins and image enhancement of our workforce.

LM: What other information do you have for professionals interested in battery-powered equipment?

DM: Here are some key points to remember:

  • Do your due diligence on research and information gathering on equipment.
  • If possible, try before you buy for more than a day. The most reputable manufacturers tend to accommodate this.
  • Do the math. Try to understand when you will break even and reach a return on investment on your battery equipment.
  • Contact AGZA or other independent sources for information and guidance if needed.
  • Be passionate and excited about the future of our industry!

LM: What else should professionals know about AGZA?

DM: AGZA was formed by a group of individuals who are part of the workforce of this industry using gas and electric equipment. We are honest and have experience developing successful transitions and business models for companies wanting to offer low-impact services. We are here to support and provide unbiased information to help meet the demands of our evolving industry.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

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