Hillier Nurseries has achieved Planet Mark certification for a third consecutive year. The company, which owns 19 garden centres across the south of England, aims to be a leader in sustainable, environmental practises and its renewed certification reflects its efforts.
The Planet Mark is a sustainability certification that offers businesses the support to understand their impact on the planet whilst helping to build transparent and trusted businesses in terms of sustainability progression.
During the latest reporting period, Hillier has continued to work towards its sustainability goals by reducing its total carbon per employee to 3.9 tCO2e, 14% lower than the previous year. Over the past 12-month trade period, during which Hillier was only 10 months operational, per £1 of turnover emissions fell by over 20%. The total carbon footprint calculation figure includes emissions from purchased electricity, transmission and distribution losses, natural gas, fuel, waste and business travel.
Hillier has also decreased its electricity usage with an 8.5% drop alongside a 52% reduction in waste production and a 49% decrease in overall water usage.
To continue delivering its commitment to minimise its carbon footprint by 5% annually, Hillier has introduced a number of initiatives across the company and supply chain this year to further reduce its environmental impact in the future. Firstly, Hillier has signed a new three-year electricity contract ensuring all departments across the business are serviced with origin (REGO) certified renewable energy. New water contracts are set to follow shortly.
Alongside replacing 13 company vehicles with EV/Hybrid alternatives, Hillier has been working with energy business, Gridserve, to provide electric vehicle charging points at all of its sites and garden centres. A move towards electrical forklifts is also underway, with 14 of the 19 garden centres currently using electrical forklifts, and the new acquisition at Ruislip is set to make the switch soon.
Renovations at the improved Hillier Garden Centre at Three Legged Cross have also been undertaken with sustainability at its core. The company has opted for recycled building materials, such as waste concrete and block paving, as well as permeable tarmac, that reduces the needs for underground drainage. Hillier has also made the switch to electric powered heating and L.E.D alternatives to fluorescent lighting. By installing solar panels to the roof, it will provide 50% of the site’s current annual electrical usage.