Hillier Nurseries Ltd is proud to have achieved certification to The Planet Mark. Founded in 1864, the company remains family-run, employing over 700 staff across its 17 garden centres and nurseries located across the South of England. Hillier is renowned for providing top quality plants and everything a gardener needs for their outdoor spaces.
This is the first year of Hillier’s business carbon footprint reporting and certification to The Planet Mark. From September 2018 to August 2019, the carbon footprint of Hillier has been calculated to be 1,865.3 tCO2e and the relative carbon footprint was 4.8 tCO2e per employee.
In calculating the carbon footprint of the company, Hillier has included all 21 of its sites, which include Head Office, all nurseries and garden centres, and has set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually. The carbon footprint calculation figure includes emissions from purchased electricity, transmission and distribution losses, natural gas, fuel, waste, and business travel. Electricity accounts for 45% of the total carbon emissions, heating fuel accounts for 26%.
Steve Malkin, Founder and CEO of The Planet Mark, commented: “Hillier is a perfect fit with The Planet Mark. Not content with just selling products that provide a benefit to the local and global environment, the team is constantly aware of how they can make their business work better, for themselves and their customers. I’m delighted to have Hillier on board and look forward to working with them in the future.”
“The environment and its protection are right at the core of what we do at Hillier and is one of the top priorities for all our team” says George Hillier, Director of Property and fifth-generation Hillier family member: “We have been researching for some time to find the right partner to help us progress our measurement, analysis, and action plans to ensure that Hillier achieves our goal to reduce our carbon footprint by a minimum of 5% year on year. The Planet Mark has offered us the most comprehensive and robust support to help us achieve this goal and we are delighted to be working with them as our partner.”
Certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders.
Hillier aims to be a leader in good environmental practice, developing a sustainable approach to managing waste, water and its plants. Waste is kept to a minimum throughout the nurseries’ supply chain, and the company is proud that its nurseries were one of the first to introduce kerbside recyclable non-black pots in spring 2019, with 99% of black plastic now recycled on-site. Its nurseries are also 85% water self-sufficient through a drainage system in which rainwater and irrigation runoff is collected, filtered, cleaned, treated on sited and used to irrigate crops. In 2019, Hillier also became the first UK ornamental tree nursery to be accredited with the Woodland Trusts UK Sourced and Grown Assurance Scheme (UKSG).
Nurseries must pay attention to developments in the sustainable world to stay competitive. While the wide-ranging environmental, health and social benefits to flora is well known, suppliers and nurseries must remain conscious of their supply chains, to make sure they are sustainable and ethically sourced. As modern consumer demands become increasingly conscious of a products source, nurseries should respond with their own rigorous and accountable approach to sustainability.