Here at Grosvenor, we take our responsibility towards caring for the environment very seriously.
We realise that our activities have an impact on our surroundings and we are working towards reducing that impact and improving our natural environment as much as we possibly can.
This involves a great deal of work to ensure we make a positive contribution to the community – environmentally, socially and economically.
So read on to find out more about our policies and initiatives to Go Green with Grosvenor.
The Growing Media Initiative has been developed by the Horticultural Trades Association together with DIY retailers and garden centres, Defra, the RSPB and the Royal Horticultural Society to help the UK's horticultural industry to meet government targets for the reduction of the use of peat in its products.
“Grosvenor is committed to supporting a reduction in the amount of peat used in composts and soil improvers in mainland UK and therefore, the number of peat-based products available at the Garden Centre.
Grosvenor is in the process of applying to become a full member of the Horticultural Trades Association’s Growing Media Initiative with the aim of achieving a 90% reduction in the use of peat.
Peat extraction in the UK had been deemed to be under some threat with areas rich in conservation value receiving damage from carelessly extracted peat. Grosvenor is working in conjunction with its suppliers to ensure each product sold has minimum peat content and is following further planned development for nil content in the future.
Grosvenor’s suppliers have declared that they will not work, or seek to work, any areas classified in the top three categories in the government’s National Peatland Resource Inventory, ie. Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) or sites designated under equivalent national or international programmes of conservation for the production of their raw materials. All peatlands used by Grosvenor’s suppliers hold modern planning consents with stringent environmental protection conditions. Where supplementary peat is sourced from overseas, imported peat materials are not taken from within conservation areas, ensuring that the least environmental harm is caused in these countries. This is in part working with the RHP Consumer Standard for raw materials which is the internationally recognised Dutch standard to ensure the use of controlled contractors who are able to state which bogs have been used to extract the peat.
With its range of growing media products now containing 43% peat (March to April 2011) in comparison to 61% during the same period in 2010, Grosvenor is continuing to liaise with its suppliers to ensure research and development is ongoing with leading suppliers choosing their own methods to meet these concerns.
However, at the present time, we continue to offer products containing peat to give customers choice at a time when a number of other options have not yet been proved within the marketplace.”
Firstly, we use up to 10,000 litres each day of water in the summer here at the garden centre. And we are collecting rainwater and looking at ways to reduce and improve our water consumption.
Cisternmisers and photo-sensors are fitted in the toilets for both public and employee use to minimise water usage.
Have you seen our water butts located around the plant area? A water butt is an easy way to collect water for you to re-use on your plants and gardens at home.
With the amount of packaging we receive with all our deliveries, we have already managed to reduce the amount of waste we produce and increased the percentage of the amount we can recycle. We will continue to work towards increasing this percentage year on year. From polythene to cardboard, we intend to invest in a larger baler to make this process much more efficient.
Did you know you can also recycle your plastic plant pots, glass bottles and old textiles at our Recycling Point? And bring your used household batteries with you when you need to buy more and we will recycle them for you. Click here for information on WEEE Regulations.
If we can make use of renewable resources, we will do so. For example, we are looking at ways of re-using our waste to make compost which in turn, can be used around the centre to nourish our planted areas.
Lighting an area as large as the garden centre is always going to use up a great deal of energy but there are plenty of things we can do to reduce the amount we use.
For example, we have sensors in public toilets which ensure the lights only come on when someone enters.
We manage to control the lighting in the car park, outdoor plant area and the entrance, partly by using photo-cells. These mean that the light flows more freely and meets less resistance than traditional lighting.
Thermostats and timeclocks are fitted to the oil fired heating throughout the garden centre with thermostats on all radiators in the offices. This is a simple method of controlling heat and one step that you can easily take at home – not only will you be able to manage your heating more effectively, thermostats will also help reduce your bills!
We are also in the process of replacing our lights with fittings which use less electricity and adding new variable controls to again minimise our energy consumption and the amount of light used.
As winners of the Green City Town and Country Community Award, we are constantly working to raise awareness of the benefits of plants. By increasing the number of plants in your garden and the green space around you, not only will this improve our local habitat, it will also reduce the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and help to offset the emissions created by our homes and workplaces.
Working with the community as part of our Growing Communities initiative is a priority here at Grosvenor and by joining forces with local schools, villages and Eaton Estate, we raise awareness of the importance of working together – on the environment, socially and economically.
Grosvenor continues to support and raise awareness of initiatives from the local area in order to create new and build existing relationships with many community ventures and charities.
Fresh Produce and Ingredients
By supporting local producers and growers from as near to the garden centre as possible, we provide our visitors with fresh, seasonal fare in both the Café and food department.
The producers that we support so readily share our ethos of creating delicious produce with many of their ingredients sourced locally too. And we are delighted that so many of our visitors are supporting this policy, in turn helping to ensure the market for such artisan produce continues.
Grosvenor is committed to sourcing its furniture and other timber products from suppliers who can prove they use sustainable timber from certified sources.
Where possible, these include timber products sourced from well managed forests bearing the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation or other independently certified forests recognised by the World Wide Fund for Nature.
You can see which products have been made using responsibly sourced wood by looking for these logos or simply asking a member of staff.
Peat-free composts are beginning to overtake peat-based products in popularity and this is great news for the environment.
Grosvenor is therefore committed to supporting a reduction in the amount of peat used in composts and soil improvers in the UK and the number of peat-based products available here at the garden centre.
In particular, we are supporting the Defra Act on C02 peat campaign and the Horticultural Trades Association’s Growing Media Initiative - both with the aim of achieving a significant reduction in the use of peat in horticultural products.
There are plenty of options available here at Grosvenor that do not harm the environment so please feel free to ask for more information on a peat-free alternative when you are looking for your compost.
Wherever possible, we continue to source products that are produced from recycled materials, renewable sources or eco-friendly products. Our current ranges include organic clothing, FSC accredited timber products, even cuddly toys made from recycled plastic bottles!
With so much interest in growing your own fruit and vegetables and organically grown produce, organic food ranges will always be our preferred choice so that you know you have the best choices here at Grosvenor.
If we can, we will also opt for Fairtrade products. These help towards making sure workers outside the EU benefit from a better deal – which in turn will lessen poverty and create continued development overseas.
By offering a five year guarantee on all our hardy plants, you know that we only offer the highest quality plants, shrubs and trees. By working with reputable plant and bulb suppliers, we also know that no plants and bulbs are taken from the wild. We proactively source plants from UK growers according to our sourcing policy and offer our visitors the best from Britain with more than 85% of our plants British grown.
So, as you can see, we are working hard towards improving our sourcing of products to make sure we offer you only the best – both for you and for the environment.
Click here for more information.