Sharing our Pioneering Sustainability Practices Through our Nurseries

by | Apr 4, 2022

At Greenwood Plants we have initiated a number of pioneering sustainability practices over the past year, to use resources efficiently, reduce waste, encourage biodiversity and improve our carbon footprint. 

Becoming carbon neutral is an important aim for us as a company, and all of our sustainable practices will help us to achieve this goal, such as switching our diesel forklifts to electric, becoming 100% peat-free, reducing waste, recycling water and using biodegradable sundries. We go into more detail about each of our sustainability and community efforts below. 


G-Cycle, our innovative scheme to reuse crates, pallets and pots, was launched last year, and we collected an astounding 4000 crates and pallets in Q4 of 2021—a great effort from everyone involved. G-Cycle reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and helps to preserve valuable resources, by encouraging the return of our crates, pallets and pots to our nurseries. 

Each crate, pallet or pot may not seem much on its own, but they each contribute towards the bigger picture of recycling and reducing waste. 


Greenwood in the Community is another of our schemes that involves us donating hundreds of plants to various community projectssuch as schools, mental health charities and village gardens. Plants provide a whole host of lasting benefits to the environment, such as absorbing carbon dioxide to improve air quality, increasing biodiversity and encouraging wildlife. 

Last year, we donated a selection of plants to a community project in the Sussex village of East Wittering. We are proud to be supporting these planting schemes and aim to raise the bar to 24 community projects this year. 

Water conservation 

When it comes to water, we are taking as many steps as possible to recycle and reduce wastage across all of our nurseries. Recycling water is an excellent way to make a positive impact on our climate, therefore, we tackle any hose leaks as quickly as we can and utilise a combination of methods to reduce the amount of mains water we use, such as collecting water from wells and streams. We also use a very efficient sprinkler nozzle around the nurseries—the MP2000 Rotator—that provides water savings of up to 30%.

Peat-free growing 

Whilst peat is an excellent growing medium, the harvesting of peat itself, and the levels of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, are having an adverse effect on our planet and contributing to greenhouse gas levels. The peat is mined from bogs; these are habitats for many different wildlife and plant species, which unfortunately, cannot exist elsewhere. Due to the negative impact that peat growing has on our environment, our aim is to move towards peat-free growing, and be 25% peat-free by the end of 2022. We will be keeping you updated on our peat-free journey. 

Biodegradable sundries 

As part of our mission, we are going to be supplying biodegradable and environmentally friendly products where we can—introducing our newest addition of compostable tree and shrub shelters, the Tree Defender+.  

We supply thousands of shelters each year to protect young trees and hedging plants, so it’s incredibly important to us to make this change and supply only environmentally friendly shelters going forward. These UK made, decomposable tree shelters are made from 100% recyclable materials and provide faster tree growth, with increased survival rates. The shelters can be secured with a bamboo cane, 25mm or 32mm square stake and they are purpose designed with internal pockets. Tree Defender+ are available in both 60cm and 90cm size options, with more to be added to the collection soon. 

As well as biodegradable tree shelters, we are also introducing the Rainbow Bio II—a biodegradable rabbit guard—across our nurseries, in the coming months. Plastic guards are commonly used, but when they are discarded they can have an adverse effect on our local wildlife. Therefore, we are switching to biodegradable rabbit guards to protect not only our trees, but our environment too. 

As a business, we are continuously evaluating our processes, to see how we could do better; sustainability is a huge part of that. If you’d like to find out more about our sustainability and community efforts, please get in touch.