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HTA launches Sustainability Roadmap to guide industry towards greener practice

Calendar year finished 10% down overall on 2019

Identifies five key areas to place horticulture and landscaping at the forefront of sustainable business practice

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3 December 2020 | 0

As a green industry, the horticulture sector can and should lead the way in sustainable business practices and efforts to reduce climate change, says the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), which has launched guidance on how this could be achieved.

Building on the strong foundations that already exist in horticulture and landscaping, the HTA has worked with its members to develop its first ever Sustainability Roadmap.

The work identifies five key areas to place horticulture and landscaping at the forefront of sustainable business practice. Designed as a framework for collaboration, with ambitious targets for 2025, achievement against the roadmap’s goals will make a significant contribution to the UK government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

HTA chairman, James Barnes, called on the industry to embrace the ethos of the roadmap, saying: “Horticulture has an intrinsic connection to the environment – we are a community who cares about the natural world and it is in our interests to safeguard its future.”

The roadmap supports the enormous strides already taken towards a more sustainable industry. The HTA said it will, for example, be central to making further progress in tackling issues such as use of plastics. It has for some time been working with members and stakeholders to develop industry-led solutions for the re-use and recycling of horticultural plastics and with local government and the waste industry to increase kerbside recycling of plastics used in horticulture.

The roadmap outlines a goal to see 40% or more of the combined weight of plant pots and packaging, garden chemicals containers, and growing media bags sourced from recycled plastic, by 2025.

The Sustainability Roadmap focuses on five areas and are a direct response to the threats of climate change, plastic pollution, water stress, and biodiversity loss, all of which pose risks to our health and environment:

  1. Reducing HTA members’ carbon footprints
  2. Reducing stress on the UK’s water supply
  3. Increasing circularity in horticultural plastics
  4. Actively shaping a peat reduction strategy by February 2021, engaging with all stakeholders
  5. Fostering innovation in pest and disease management

They are critical, both in terms of their commercial importance to the industry and in terms of the potential for making a difference to the environment.

The roadmap is a framework through which the HTA will deliver resources, case studies, data, training and services for members to enable them to increase their environmental, commercial and social sustainability. The organisation is encouraging all its members to join the sustainability journey to 2025 and contribute what they can, regardless of the size or type of business.

“Not only is it in our interest to collaborate on ambitious targets, but the climate emergency means people will rightly look to us for the highest standards,” continued Barnes. “Sustainability can be achieved by balancing impacts on people, planet and profit. When businesses work towards this and all three aspects of sustainability are in place and mutually supportive, we can deliver lasting benefits to the environment.”

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