HTA teams up with Planet Mark in move towards decarbonisation in horticulture
by Angela Bean
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has partnered with sustainability certification the Planet Mark as a first step in delivering its Sustainability Roadmap. The partnership will help both the HTA and its members to reduce their carbon footprint, protect the natural environment and combat climate change.
The partnership provides members with an opportunity to access expert support in reducing their carbon footprint, to make a tangible difference to both their business and the planet. The partnership will also see the HTA commit to reducing its own carbon footprint, taking the journey alongside members to place the UK horticulture and landscaping industry at the leading edge of sustainable business.
The Sustainability Roadmap, which sets out key ambitions for the horticulture industry, contains a specific goal of reaching a 20% net reduction in CO2 emissions in aggregate across HTA membership. In horticulture, most carbon emissions are made up from energy use in heating commercial glasshouses for plant production; energy and heat for garden centres; transport of products through the supply chain and waste produced throughout the supply chain. Using a certification scheme that recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals, the Planet Mark offers a credible way of measuring and reducing a business’s carbon footprint.
Companies are certified as soon as they sign up based on their commitment to sustainability. To keep the Planet Mark certification, an organisation must reduce their carbon footprint every year, commit to engage their staff in the process and commit to communicating their progress externally.
HTA Futures and Sustainability Manager David Denny comments “We’re delighted to be working with the Planet Mark to help our members move forward on sustainability. It’s essential that our industry takes action to tackle the main causes of carbon emissions and we have been impressed by the ways the Planet Mark team have worked with a broad range of organisations to help them in this endeavour. Access to their free starter workshops is specifically geared at small and mid-size HTA members and is a really exciting extra benefit to HTA membership.”
Founder and CEO of the Planet Mark, Steve Malkin comments “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Horticultural Trades Association, helping members access expert advice and supporting their sustainability strategies and certification requirements. By becoming a certified Planet Mark holder, the HTA will be leading by example, building upon the work already done by HTA members to put the UK horticulture and landscaping industry as leaders in sustainable business.”
To start the journey, the Planet Mark are offering a free workshop this February to HTA members who would like to find out more about what they can do to start their own sustainability journey. Members who make a commitment will receive a 5% discount on joining or renewing their membership with the Planet Mark. The certification will help members fully assess their carbon footprint, social value and help to future-proof the business. The Planet Mark can also help larger businesses with Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) compliance.
Managing Director of Squires Garden Centres, Martin Breddy said “Squires was looking for a team who could handle our SECR reporting audit, but also motivate us to progress our sustainability strategy. The Planet Mark team demonstrated the capability to deliver the audit for our 2020 results, but just as importantly, showed the passion and commitment to inspire a more progressive environmental policy. We’re far from perfect and have a long way to go, but the Planet Mark accreditation programme will motivate us to keep improving. That’s great for our people, our customers, and the wider world.”
The workshop will take place on Tuesday 9 February and is the first in a series of workshops and events available to HTA members to enable them to realise their carbon reduction and sustainability potential.