Sustainability - Squire's Garden Centres

Sustainability

We do the right thing for plants, the planet and people.

 

We’re not perfect yet…. but we’re improving all the time

 

  • For 80 years, Squires has helped people grow beautiful gardens, and enjoy their leisure time
  • We ‘re passionate about the good that domestic horticulture can bring to society…

….but we also recognise our responsibility to improve our environmental footprint

  • A senior team, led by our Chairman Sarah Squire, meets every quarter to ensure we are continuously improving our environmental sustainability
  • Here are some of things we are working on right now…

 

Peat

  •  Our policy is to offer a range of peat free and peat-reduced composts. We offer a range of peat-free composts under the New Horizon brand name. We actively promote these products in our Beautiful Gardens magazine, (delivered to over 700,000 homes in Spring) and our Autumn publication (distributed to 400,000 homes).
  • We do not stock moss peat, or recommend products containing peat for soil improvement purposes. Instead, we always recommend peat free products such as Country Natural, which is a best seller across all our centres.
  • Our specialist composts for Roses, Shrubs, Tomatoes, Pots & Containers etc, all use 50% peat free formulae. Up to 60% of the ingredients in John Innes composts are non-peat.
  • We are continually looking for peat free alternatives that still provide outstanding growing performance. Next season we hope to trial a new peat free compost from a company that supplies growing media to the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • All our suppliers are members of the Growing Media Association (GMA), a body that works closely with DEFRA and is striving to meet the Government’s aim of continuing to reduce peat usage. The GMA also requires its members to harvest any peat it uses in a sustainable fashion and ensure proper restoration and after-use measures are in place. Please refer to https://growingmedia.co.uk/ if you wish to learn more.

 

Garden Products

  • We will offer organic alternatives in all categories of chemicals and fertilisers where they are available and where we are confident that they produce good results.
  • We promote mulching, composting, water conservation and other sustainable gardening methods

 

Plants

  • We promote wildlife friendly plants, hedging and plants for birds, bees and butterflies. These will be easily identifiable for customers thanks to our new labelling system. We sell trees which are a fantastic resource for carbon capture.
  • We have discussions with our suppliers aimed at reducing the amount of peat in the compost mixes they use
  • We promote British and locally grown plants in order to reduce plant miles
  • 80% of plants purchased are sourced from UK nurseries with our key suppliers within 60 miles, many are much closer
  • We aim to monitor and manage water use at our garden centres and nurseries through our new metering system
  • We have a rainwater supplied irrigation tank at our Woking centre which is topped up with water from the building roof and used to water our plants
  • We have introduced a new ‘Flood Tray’ irrigation system in many of our centres; this uses less water than conventional overhead irrigation systems and it promotes healthier root growth in the plants
  • All our centres offer a place where customers can help themselves to free pots and trays
  • We are in discussions with our suppliers to find a sustainable solution that replaces the traditional plastic pot. Our aim is to move to a recycled and recyclable alternative

 

FSC Timber & Leisure Products

  • There are many certification schemes; we have certification paperwork  – FSC, TFT, FLEGT and SGS – that covers all of the products we sell
  • Our wooden garden furniture is sourced from UK based suppliers with proof that all wooden products have been legally and sustainably harvested
  • We do not sell gas fired patio heaters

 

Café Bars

  • We aim to source locally produced food where possible
  • Our Cafe Bars offer healthy light snacks and low fat or fat free products
  • We offer paper straws and cups for drinking water
  • We’re moving takeaway sandwiches  to paper wrappers or cardboard cartons
  • We endeavour to cater for all food allergens and preferences
  • We offer both compostable takeaway cups and reusable cups

 

Packaging

  • We are working with our plant suppliers and local authorities to ensure all our plastic pots are recyclable and made from recycled plastic.
  • We are moving to more coloured pots, that can be recognised and recycled by re-cycling plants and exploring ways with suppliers to make black pots re-cyclable
  • We are running a trial using Hairy Pots from Kirton Farm Nurseries, in our Twickenham centre
  • We make old plastic pots and trays available to our customers and encourage them to re-use as many as they can
  • We offer customers cardboard boxes as an alternative to plastic packaging.
  • We embraced the government legislation on single-use carrier bags in October 2015. All proceeds from our carrier bags are donated to the Greenfingers charity
  • Our plastic bags are biodegradable
  • During 2020, we aim to remove all single use plastic bags and boot liners, replacing them with a mix of paper and re-usable bags
  • Our scheme for recycling tin, paper, plastic bottles, shrink wrap and other clear plastics is being rolled out across our centres

 

Supporting our local community

  • We are active supporters of our local communities. Each of our centres supports a chosen local charity, raising funds through charity events and our grottos

 

Waste & Recycling

Café Bars

  • Used fat is collected for recycling
  • Our take out packaging is recycled, recyclable or biodegradable
  • Glass bottles are recycled

 

Office

  • Junk mail and non-sensitive paper waste is recycled. Shredded confidential paperwork is also recycled
  • Used electrical items are recycled in accordance with the WEEE
  • Print cartridges are recycled
  • Point of Sale is produced relative to the size of each centre to ensure that we do not print more than is necessary
  • Envelopes are reused where possible for internal use
  • From October 2019, electricity used in all our centres and offices is 100% renewable energy.

 

Wildlife & Gardening Education

  • We have created wildlife friendly display gardens at our West Horsley, Long Ditton and Hersham branches in conjunction with Surrey Wildlife Trust.
  • We have good links with many local schools and encourage initiatives to get children gardening
  • We also work with many local charities and other organisations
  • We have links with the Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, Surrey Wildlife Trust  and Historic Royal Palaces
  • We support many local Britain in Bloom initiatives including Richmond, Farnham, Hersham, Spelthorne and Rushmoor

 

Infrastructure

  • We are always looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption, with four of our centres using low energy lighting and four using air source heating.