The climate crisis is a global issue, with ramifications on an individual as well as international basis. Scientists have warned of the devastating impact human-originated pollution could have on the planet, as erratic weather patterns and unusual polar warming threaten lives around the world.
Global measures are being taken to reduce our impact on the planet, and businesses are beginning to reconcile with the impact they may be having on local and global ecosystems. As such, business sustainability measures are becoming a priority across industries – and the horticultural industry is no different. What could your gardening business do to improve its sustainability in the short and long term?
While electric power tools have become an industry standard in recent years, many gardening and landscaping businesses still rely on petrol-powered tools for heavy-duty work. This is primarily due to the power provided by combustion engines, and the ease with which they can be repaired in event of breakdown or failure.
However, new developments have seen the increased availability of electric power tools like the cordless hedge trimmer and chainsaw – new iterations which are reliable, repairable, and, above all, powerful enough to cut it for larger-scale tasks. These electric tools have a much lower carbon footprint than their gas-guzzling counterparts and are less pollutive locally as well. By completely ‘electrifying’ your toolset, you can minimize your local and global impact on the environment.
Of course, you can ‘go electric’ in more ways than one. You may be a larger gardening business with more than one team, and a fleet of vehicles to enable wider geographic coverage. If so, your work vehicles represent a large source of emissions – and a brilliant ecological opportunity.
By replacing your fleet with electric vehicles, you can completely eliminate your business’ direct reliance on fossil fuels, and significantly cut emissions in the process. The UK government has a Plug-In Van Grant, which businesses can utilize to reduce the upfront cost of EV purchases – making electrified fleets a viable option.
The environmental impacts of gardeners are not limit to their energy usage, though. There are certain modern gardening and agricultural practices that can have a detrimental effect on the local environment, whether by introducing toxic materials to delicate ecosystems or leeching nutrients from the same.
Fertilisers are a key point of contention in this regard and a great place to start in minimizing local impacts while continuing to offer high-quality service and results. Organic fertilisers can be much lighter on the environment than non-organic alternatives, which can ‘borrow’ nutrients from ground sources and starve other plants – or otherwise taint groundwater and affect local populations.