Planet Mark has become part of our daily lives at The Gardens Group over recent years, as we work ever harder to create more sustainable garden centres for both people and planet. We decided to join the Planet Mark scheme, which is backed by the Eden Project, to put structured plans and communications in place to ensure that everyone can play their part in reducing our impact on the environment.

Over the past year we have focused on key areas including our buildings, travel, waste, water, procurement, and homeworking. All team members have played their part in this, and through regular meetings we came up with hundreds of new initiatives to make improvements in these areas. Everyone then went away and implemented their actions within their smaller cross-departmental teams, taking care of everything from water collection to greener deliveries, culminating in a collective effort to substantially reduce carbon emissions across all areas of our garden centres.

The 2022 Planet Mark audit has just come through and we were very pleased to find out that we achieved a carbon reduction of 29.3% through our efforts, and we are now working towards setting a target date to become a net zero business.

Through our links with the Garden Centre Association, we’re feeding these ideas back into the garden centre industry as a whole and we also encourage the team to help apply these sustainable principles to community projects. By engaging with our customers and supporting their own sustainable initiatives, including at schools, garden clubs and community groups, the benefits of our efforts are felt far beyond the confines of the garden centres.