As we move into 2021, businesses big and small are expected to behave in a way that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Gone are the days when eco-friendly was a niche. Responsibly made products are no longer wrapped in brown and green packaging and covered in trees and sustainable shoppers are no longer rare; sustainability is fast becoming the new norm, and more than that, it’s becoming extremely popular.
The viral nature of social media has aided in the creation of environmentally and socially conscious millennials and zoomers who take a brand’s green credentials very seriously. With the environmental warnings we have seen over the last year in particular, the ‘go green’ bug is spreading rapidly, and thank goodness!
We want to be totally transparent about the part we’re playing in all of this, so we thought we’d share some of the changes we’ve made already and some of the plans we have for the next year or so. We’re super excited about these changes and cannot wait to hit all of our sustainability targets in time.
1. Back in 2019 we told you that we installed Geo Green Power solar panels at Hayloft HQ in an attempt to lower our carbon footprint. The 49.84 kW Solar PV commercial microgeneration system supplies up to 44,407 kWh a year and saves 13.3 tonnes of CO2, which is fantastic, but we haven’t stopped there.
Thanks to the support of our brilliant Haylofters, we have found ourselves growing quite quickly and therefore needing a little more room. We decided last year to begin consolidating all of our operations onto one new, larger nursery (rather than three) and of course, our new offices will feature a 50.4 kW Solar PV commercial microgeneration system. This wonderful system will supply 44,654 kWh of electricity per year to the nursery and save 13.4 tonnes of CO2. Its being installed as I type, we can’t wait to show you the final images, but for now, here are some progress pictures.
2. It is extremely important to us that our new HQ is built and maintained as sustainably as possible. We currently await the installation of an 87 kW Ground Source Heat Pump which is due to go in March. This marvellous addition will heat up the offices and the plant packing greenhouse and save a whopping 38.5 tonnes of CO2 each year.
3. As the world attempts to switch to more sustainable alternatives, we want to encourage the use of electric vehicles by installing a minimum of four electric vehicle charging points alongside our new energy efficient agricultural shed, all powered by the solar panels of course.
4. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that, as plant sellers, we use a lot of water to keep your plants lush and healthy, but we make sure to use little to no mains water. We collect the rainwater that lands on our greenhouses and agricultural shed, it runs into a large reservoir and is then pumped back into storage tanks, filtered through our systems, and used to water the lovely plants in our glasshouses.
5. Biological control is used in our greenhouses to eliminate the use of pesticides.
6. Any waste plant material is composted and spread upon the land giving both organic matter and nutrients to future crops.
7. All plastic, cardboard and glass are recycled.
8. We have a policy of updating vehicles with modern fuel-efficient engines with low emissions. Many vans and cars have Euro 6 engines with AdBlue injected onto exhaust fumes to reduce particulate emissions.
9. All plants are packed into recycled polymer and recycled paper packaging that is fully recyclable.
10. Our latest, and possibly my favourite change is to our catalogues. They were previously sent out in a clear plastic wrapping, which was of course an outdated concept. We have now switched to paper which we encourage our customers to recycle. We are elated with this change and cannot wait for our 2021 catalogue to start appearing in your letter boxes.
11. We now sell peat free compost whilst conducting growing media trials on the nurseries aimed at reducing peat usage in line with Defra’s targets.
We are a horticultural company, so we obviously care a great deal for the environment; the beauty of nature is something we hold very dear and will work hard to protect. We reside on 45 acres of beautiful farmland that is covered with agricultural crops and ornamental garden plants. The land is farmed under zero tillage to encourage wildlife, improve soil structure, and reduce nutrient run off into water courses. We want our new site to be a haven of tranquillity, surrounded by magnificent trees and breath-taking flowers.
We’re so excited about the sustainability journey we find ourselves on. It is a journey of hope, of positive change and of constant improvement. It is a journey that may that never come to an end because there is always more than could be done. We want to share the Hayloft journey, not just so that we can see our own progress and hold ourselves accountable, but also so that we can educate our customers and hopefully help to create generations of conscious gardeners. Let us know on social media what you’re doing in your garden to help the environment, we’re always looking for tips and tricks.
Happy helping Haylofters.
If, for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, just return it to us within 21 days.
We promise to exchange the item or return the price you paid for the item in full. This is in addition to your statutory rights.
Hayloft Plants will not agree to refunding the costs of returning the parcel to us.