Peat vs. peat free: is the market heading in the right direction?

Bord na Móna is driven by delivering exceptional products to market. It specialises in renewable energy, horticulture, resource recovery and eco-fuels. It sees the importance of helping the UK government in hitting its target of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To support this, the ‘peat vs peat-free’ debate has hindered the fight towards zero emissions.
But, Bord Na Móna’s Brown to Green strategy has spearheaded the company’s intent to support the national climate and energy policy.
The strategy’s aim is to speed up the development of renewable energy assets. As well as accelerating investment in higher-value recycling and resource recovery business.
Steve Harper, UK’s Head of Commercial and Marketing at Bord na Móna, keeps his finger on the ‘peat vs peat-free’ pulse. He ensures Bord Na Móna can stay ahead. He said: “The UK government has issued many targets over the years. But all targets were missed. This was followed up by the 2011 White Paper ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’ which stated that the government will commit to reducing peat use to zero by 2030. So needless to say the debate – or the challenge – continues.”
The White Paper Steve refers to had a profound effect. It has resulted in the setup of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media.
This scheme enables Defra, NGOs’ retailers, growers and manufacturers to make the best-informed decisions about different constituent formulations. It helps in maximising the environmental and social benefits, as well as considering cost.
This is something Steve is proud to be leading: “I’m delighted to be leading this at Bord Na Móna. We strive to ensure growing media is made from materials that are sourced and manufactured in a way that is both socially and environmentally responsible. Supporting the government is of great importance to us.”
So what does Bord Na Móna now offer to help the UK government reach zero carbon emissions by 2050? Peat has always been the cheapest raw material available on the market. All other diluents are between two to six times more expensive. Peat has been the go-to product on offer, especially for many who are price conscious.
This is one of the reasons why Bord Na Móna has now launched a new peat-free brand in Happy Compost.

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