Growing Media Manufactures will start testing an industry calculator for assessing the responsible sourcing of materials used in growing media.
Steve Harper, chair of the GMA said: ?The calculator was developed by the ?P4 group? which was set up following a recommendation of the Sustainable Growing Media Taskforce (SGMTF).
?This group was tasked with developing a tool that could be used to assess the environmental values of growing media.
?The result is this ?calculator? that enables manufacturers to measure and score seven criteria for the key materials used in products.
?The seven criteria are Energy usage, Water usage, Social Compliance, Habitat and Biodiversity, Renewability, Pollution and Resource use.
?These scores are combined and weighted to give an overall score for the product.?
Version 1 of the calculator and supporting guidance notes and documents have been published on the HTA website and are now ready to be trialled.
A number of GMA members have already nominated materials to test and we hope to feed these results back at a launch event on 30 June 2015 at Stoneleigh Park.
The trial will allow manufacturers to see how the tool works and will guide the setting of benchmarks for the overall scores.
Ongoing work to set benchmarks and develop a business to business scheme based on the outputs of the calculator will be taken forward by a new Steering group (the Responsible Sourcing Scheme Steering Group).
This group has representatives from manufacturers, retailers, government, interest groups and growing media experts and will be meeting on 21 May to take forward P4s work.
The intention is to develop a business to business tool for the industry and it is anticipated that once developed, the new scheme will replace the existing Growing Media Initiative.
Further information and supporting information can be found at www.the-hta.org.uk/gma