Our Journey to Net Zero
An update on our pioneering sustainability efforts
This year we have made many changes and introduced new sustainable practices, which will each play their part towards our long-term goal of reaching Net Zero. This includes using resources efficiently, reducing our waste, encouraging biodiversity, and improving our carbon footprint.
Month to month, our peat-free trials are building, and we are now at a stage where one in four plants are potted in peat-free growing media, across our nurseries. Peat is an excellent growing medium; however, its harvesting process releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which has an adverse effect on greenhouse gas levels and contributes to climate change. Our aim is to be 100% peat-free by the end of 2023; it’s a huge challenge for us but it’s vital that we make this change. As part of our peat-free goal, we now also offer our new contract growing programme ‘Watch It Grow’ in peat-free, and display our peat-free plants in Greenwood Choice—our trade sales centre.
Throughout the year, as part of our Greenwood Community scheme, we have donated plants to a number of schools, colleges and local charities, to help with their landscaping and gardening projects. We recently donated a selection of plants to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Bosham, Chichester, for its dedicated volunteers to plant within its beautiful gardens. St Wilfrid’s Hospice has been working tirelessly on its gardens over the past three years; they have been designed to be enjoyed by all residents, regardless of their mobility.
Many internal changes have been made across our nurseries to reduce waste. These include recycling bins, eco-friendly cleaning products in bulk, chilled drinking water facilities and reusable water bottles for our G Team. New trolley jackets have also been introduced to reduce the amount of single-use packing materials, which is needed for transportation. In Greenwood Choice, we have green waste bins throughout the greenhouse to ensure any weeds are disposed of correctly and composted.
Our journey to becoming fully electric at our Head Office, Fresh Acres nursery, is making great progress; we are pleased to share that another new electric forklift has arrived at our nursery. Electric vehicles provide excellent benefits, such as having the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and can provide a quieter environment. We have also invested in two new lower emissions trucks to reduce the footprint of the fleet out on the road. In addition, our new ‘engine-off when idling’ policy for all drivers will also help to lower our emissions.
In September, we celebrated our “Sustainable Business of the Year Award” at the 2022 Central South Business Awards. This award recognises the pioneering sustainability practices that we have established across the business, exercising responsible planetary stewardship, and demonstrating sustainability leadership by applying innovative processes and techniques to minimise our imprint on the planet. Sustainability is one of our brand values and the G Team have embraced their role in contributing to our sustainability goals. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far and this award is great recognition of an excellent team effort across the business.
Next year, we hope to increase our sustainability efforts further by installing solar panels, investing in more water storage tanks and introducing bee hives to our nurseries.
If you’d like to find out more about our sustainability efforts, check out our Sustainability page.