At the West Somerset Garden Centre we are conscious of our sustainability responsibilities and work hard to respect the environment.
We have introduced recycling schemes for most of our waste generated; this includes the recycling of cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and wood. Currently the majority of our waste is recycled and we aim to further improve moving forward. Where possible return any plastic plant carrying trays back to the suppliers for them to reuse or offered to customers for their own use
As a business we are working with our suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic we use. We are purchasing Retail products with less packaging and or only use recycled or recyclable wrapping. All our pack bedding is in PET packs or colour packs which are kerbside recyclable. All of our Pot bedding has moved to a Taupe or coloured pots to allow them to be kerbside recycled.
At the West Somerset Garden Centre plants are the mainstay of our business, we purchase from British and EU Growers. By purchasing from a wide range of suppliers it ensures that a wide variety of plants are available all year round. We are regularly inspected by the Government Plant Health team and only import certified stock from our suppliers. Our trained staff are ‘Pest & Disease Aware’ and will remove any plants from sale treat appropriately any infection should it occur.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Policy
We provide information to our customers on the benefits of purchasing FSC accredited products. We only stock wood products that have the FSC accreditation and bears the FSC logo.
We are fully committed to environmental responsibility and share the concerns of gardeners, the horticultural industry and government towards peat extraction. We strive to be a peat free business and support the continued search for alternative growing media. In 2022 we joined the HTA Sustainability Pledge and the Responsible Sourcing Scheme. At the start of 2019, we started to increase the sales of peat-free growing media with the introduction of Melcourt composts and today the sales reached 75% of our compost sales and we are working hard to make sure this percentage continues to grow and by 2024 when we will only sell Peat Free Products. We do not sell moss peat, sedge peat, moss poles or sphagnum moss. Peat-free compost has a prominent position within our compost sales area and now takes up the majority of the area. All of the plants we sell are grown in peat-free or reduced-peat media; helping reduce our peat throughput.
Moving forward without PEAT
We have information boards and leaflets informing customers about Peat Free and Peat Reduced composts and to encourage gardeners to try something new. We will provide clear and up to date information and advice to customers who may be switching to peat-free and reduced-peat, so they can make informed decisions. We will continue to speak with our suppliers on the availability and use of reduced or peat free growing media. We are requesting that our suppliers provide better information boards and POS. We are continuous in our staff training on the information on peat-free and reduced-peat compost.
The West Somerset Garden Centre is committed to recognising and accepting the need to provide and manage a safe and environmentally responsible business. We will continually strive to improve its energy and water efficiency, reduce wastage, source product ethically and promote sustainable gardening throughout the business.
We have installed a water capture system taking rainwater from our roof and storing it for irrigating our plants. We have also installed flood benches for our plants ensuring that the water used is right where the plants need it. Surplus water from the benched is captured and recycled. Our trees are on drip irrigation with capillary matting.
We have installed LED lighting throughout the shop and office. LED lighting is due to be installed in The Old Building in 2023. We are installing Solar Panels on the roof or the shop and hope to have complete this by the end of 2023.
The Directors of WEST SOMERSET GARDEN CENTRE will continually monitor the implementation and effects of this policy in order to continually improve our environmental practice and performance and in so doing we considering the environmental impact of our purchasing decisions. We promote plants and products associated with a green environment and promote green products and encourage environmental awareness.