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HTA white paper shows how horticulture can grow greener

Image: Pixabay

Industry and policymakers can work together to ensure the contribution to the planet from horticulture is maximised in a sustainable way

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Horticulture

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10 March 2022 | 0

Nature-based solutions to climate change, such as plants for urban greening and tree planting are some of the most effective ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change at scale and speed. More can be done to access these solutions by enabling ornamental horticulture to maximise its full potential in combatting the climate and biodiversity crises, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has said.

In its recently published white paper, the HTA outlined where industry and policymakers could work together to ensure the contribution to the planet from horticulture is maximised in a sustainable way.

These included:

  • Gardening and gardeners have a role to play in mitigating climate change, and gardening habits are already changing. The horticulture industry has a responsibility to cultivate and promote sustainable gardening, and policy makers have a role to play in facilitating this
  • Sustainability presents an opportunity to inspire the next generation of greener gardeners. As the role of gardens in fighting climate change becomes more widely known, this will inspire more people into gardening as a hobby or horticulture as a profession
  • Industry research and development could bring new products and gardening concepts to market that benefit the environment. To accelerate this, the industry must align with the government on further understanding the natural capital value of gardens and green spaces

A key take-away from the white paper is that there is real benefit in individual businesses collectively making small changes to make a valuable difference and together gaining substantive progress as a sector.

It developed the sustainability themes and issues discussed at an HTA roundtable event, sponsored by Easitill Ltd. The meeting saw leading industry figures from horticultural and environmental organisations collectively examine the opportunities and challenges that sustainability presents for horticulture.

David Denny, HTA director of research and insights, who chaired the event, said: “Our event provided a forum for people from inside and outside of horticulture to discuss the challenges of achieving greater sustainability and the opportunities it presents. The white paper summarises that discussion and we’re using it to inform our plans for taking our Sustainability Roadmap for horticulture forwards. It considers how much we could achieve -there are some great things going on in horticulture, but there’s so much more opportunity for us. That’s especially so where greater sustainability can be accelerated by working with government, policy makers and environmental organisations to achieve common goals.”

“Sustainability not only improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem, and preserves natural resources for future generations, but should now be a fundamental and crucial part of any company strategy,” said Keith Plekker, director of Easitill Ltd. “Fundamentally, it’s about the ripple effect. Small or big changes from even one company can have an impact on the environment and influence others to follow suit.”

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