Doing Things The Right Way.
Preserving the natural environment is very important to us, and we put a lot of time into evaluating the impact our business will have. We have a purpose clause written into our Aricles of Association, and will regularly share our progress so you can see how we're getting on. Our first investor was Bethnal Green Ventures' Tech for Good Fund, so we're in good company! Environmental impact is a complicated topic, so we commit to continuing to research and improve in this area. Here's what we're doing so far.
Wherever possible, we deliver our plants via pedal bike or electric vans. In cases where we cannot, we offer carbon neutral deliveries. This means we offset any carbon associated with our delivery by investing in projects which absorb carbon. We also receive deliveries of plants from our growers. Large electric transit vehicles are not yet available, so we offset these emissions (known as Scope 3 emissions) via Gold Standard certified carbon offsetting projects.
When it comes to packaging home deliveries, there are 4 main types of material: biodegradable, home compostable, industrial compostable, and recyclable. Biodegradable material breaks down in around 6 weeks wherever it ends up. Home compostable material needs to be put into a food waste bin or composter, and industrial compostable material needs to be treated at an industrial composting facility. Recyclable packaging simply needs to go into your recycling bin and will be recycled into new products. We have opted for recycled and recyclable cardboard outer boxes. This is because we can be confident that all councils across London offer recycling. This means we know the materials will be processed and re-made into new materials when they are put into the recycling bin. We decided against home compostable materials because not everybody can compost at home, and not all councils offer food or garden waste bin collection (which is then taken to a composting facility). Industrial compostable materials are often used in retail but in the home environment they rarely end up in the right channels and therefore end up in landfill. Our printed stickers are made from paper from sustainably managed forests, printed with soy ink which is non-toxic, and are FSC certified.
3. Plants and Plant Pots
Wherever possible, our plants are sourced in the U.K. and are grown organically without chemical fertilisers. As we know, trees and larger plants like shrubs store carbon effectively. This effect is less significant with smaller plants, but we are proactively looking for research partners to help us measure the carbon capture capacity of different plants in our range so we can understand our impact from seedling to compost. We only source plant pots which are made from recyclable plastic, and wherever possible they are also made of 100% recycled plastic, so that we don't drive more demand for virgin plastic. The exception to our plants being grown in the U.K. is the small range of indoor plants we offer which are sourced in The Netherlands. We have chosen a supplier who is proactively managing emissions out of their supply chain, for instance running just 2 fully stocked lorries to the U.K. every week to reduce emissions from deliveries.
All of our compost is peat-free. Peat is highly fertile organic matter which is sourced by dredging up ancient peat bogs, which are effective carbon sinks. Using peat depletes these ancient reserves and releases carbon into the atmosphere. We use alternatives which can be sourced sustainably but still give the same quality growing results.
We only offer organic, naturally-derived fertiliser. Plants can grow beautifully without the need for toxic chemicals which then leach into the soil and harm microorganisms and other wildlife.
We need to move from being apart from nature, to being a part of nature. David Attenborough