At Millbrook we’re proud to have a green policy and do what we can to be an environmentally friendly garden centre. We promote good environmental practice and environmental awareness throughout our garden centres. Whether it’s recycling our waste or re-using our rainwater, we like to do our bit. Read on to find out more.
Energy – investing in greener ways to generate energy to reduce carbon emissions by:
- Partnering with Planet Mark, an internationally-recognised sustainability certification, to help us measure and reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment - a key step in tackling the climate crisis
- Measured by Planet Mark we are aiming for a 20% year on year reduction in CO2.
- Through Planet Mark we are protecting an area of endangered rainforest thanks to Cool Earth; a charity working alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation. Our pledge through Cool Earth goes directly towards supporting the Asháninka community in Central Peru.
- Electing Energy Champions to monitor energy usage, encourage saving and identify and deal with heavy usage
- Actively updating our equipment and fitting PIR sensors, low-energy fittings, and auto switch off plugs where appropriate
- Considering all forms of renewable energy, for instance biomass boiler, solar and wind generation. We aim to generate 25% of our energy need through renewables. Currently 20% of the electricity we use at our Gravesend centre is produced by our solar panels. We are installing more solar panels at our Gravesend site and introducing solar panels to our Staplehurst site.
- Convert all gas equipment in Gravesend and Staplehurst to electric to remove the need for gas.
- Ensuring any new development is built to be as energy efficient as possible
- Actively insulating and double glazing buildings where possible to reduce energy use
- Using an energy supplier that is investing in renewable sources
- Ensuring that any new vehicles are fuel efficient and in low CO2 tax band
- Training all drivers to drive efficiently to save fuel
- Ensuring we car share for journeys between sites and other locations and encouraging customers and staff to use public transport, bike or walk
- Use video conferencing, Skype or Zoom technology to reduce the number of journeys between our Millbrook garden centres
- We aim to be a carbon neutral business by 2027.
Inspire, educate and equip – promoting environmental awareness to staff, customers and local community by:
- Through our commitment to Planet Mark we are helping the Eden Project – an educational charity building connections with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work together towards a better future.
- Engaging with our local community to promote gardening through projects and contact with local groups and schools
- Communicating our Green Policy to customers and staff via noticeboards, website and signage
- Educating and promoting Taupe Pot recycling to customers (that they are recyclable via their curb-side council recycling
- Raising environmental awareness of our suppliers, customers and local community
- Encouraging greener gardening projects through customer 'how to' leaflets and information boards on topics such as composting and rainwater harvesting
- Running customer workshops to educate/inspire environmentally-friendly gardening
- Promoting the importance of wildlife by educating people on how to encourage wildlife into their gardens
- Highlighting the environmental benefits of plants and gardening
- Promoting Greener Gardening and the environmental benefits of greener products in store
- Producing a monthly Planet Positive email sent to all our Millbrook family members, highlighting our eco-friendly product options, tips and ideas.
- Our Planet Positive logo and green bee icon highlight more eco-friendly product options where applicable in-store.
- We have created an eco house in each of our centres, highlighting green options around the home. For example, Save energy, clean the air, grow your own, be water wise, care for wildlife etc.
Products – We make environmentally responsible buying decisions by:
- We are accredited members of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme.
- Actively looking for relevant environmentally-friendly and ethically-sourced products
- Using local suppliers and producers where possible
- We stock Bio-Based Growing Pots made from 100% natural plant-based raw materials that are biodegradable and industrially compostable, perfect for natural, organic growing.
- Encouraging Taupe Pot usage by suppliers
- Promoting at least one 'green' option in each product area
- Selling locally-sourced plants wherever possible
- Selling only peat-free bagged compost (excluding carnivorous plant compost)
- Not selling synthetic pesticides
- Offering natural and organic alternatives to garden chemicals
- Ensuring that 95% of our wooden products come from FSC or equivalent sources or is recycled
- Offering food that is seasonal and locally sourced as much as possible. At least 50% of our food comes from local suppliers
- We stock Henry Bell Wild Birdcare own-brand wild bird food available in recyclable packaging.
- We stock Green Olive Firewood, whose key firewood products are all Woodsure 'Ready to Burn' approved. The 'Ready to Burn' scheme ensures wood products are clean, below 20% moisture content and sourced from a legal and sustainable means.
- Encouraging the use of re-useable bags and donating all profit to charity.
Waste – we minimise our waste to landfill and recycle as much as we can by:
- Reducing the use of stationery materials by training in the use of alternatives to printing
- Using fully recycled paper for our signage, photocopier and printer paper.
- Recycling all recyclable materials and regularly train staff in what can be recycled and how to do it
- Encouraging customers to recycle by promoting composting
Water – We use water carefully, capturing and recycling as much as possible by:
- Reducing our current water consumption with new rainwater harvesting systems
- Replacing all plant benches with metal flood benching to retain water
- Investigating kitchen processes to agree ways to reduce water usage in our garden centres
- Encouraging customers to save water by offering a range of water-saving products, excellent information and educational materials and well-trained, knowledgeable staff
- Ensuring our irrigation systems are well maintained to minimise leaks and wastage and used efficiently
- Harvesting rainwater for irrigation
- Considering water saving and capture measures in any new developments
- Educating our customers on water-saving ideas for their garden and advice on drought-resistant gardening to save on watering
Millbrook Garden Centres – Striving to be greener.
Updated March 2023.