We engage in a continuous process of trying to improve the carbon footprint and reduce adverse environmental impacts of our business. That process involves the following principal elements.
Growing as many of the plants and trees as we can in the UK. At last count that was a little over 90%. Growing in the UK - whether we do it ourselves or by contracting with specialist British growers - and we do both - reduces transport costs from field to packing shed and then to you. It reduces plant movements, makes inspection and disease control easier and it means we can visit/inspect our crops by car and public transport rather than by plane. However, some plants are better grown abroad - tulips for example - so we will never reach 100% here.
We constantly try to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging we use. Wherever possible our packaging is made from recycled (and recyclable) materials. We hate polypropylene, but it 'looks after' the tree, especially when some are up to 6 metres in height. And at least it is recyclable - please see this useful guide; http://www.sustainabilityguide.co.uk/2018/02/05/recyclable-plastic/. Our blister packs are recyclable, our plastic bags are biodegradable, our taupe pots are recyclable and where possible trees roots are packaged in paper bags. We always use cardboard in preference to any kind of plastic if possible. This process is ongoing and we hope to be environmentally friendly in all our packaging by 2023.
As a business, we are responsible for the annual production of well over 1 million plants and trees. Last year these had an aggregate weight in excess of 300 tons of which between 120 and 150 tons was made up of sequestered carbon. In their lifetimes with you and others, those trees and plants will lock many times as much again. A single oak tree will sequester just over a ton of carbon in the first thirty years of its life and vastly more as it grows older and larger.
We do not pretend to be perfect, but we are trying.