The theme for the first event was water and focused on water's importance as a resource for the business, whose "washed only in spring water" salad wash process ensures clean produce untainted by sanitisers, while feeding a series of miniature wild trout streams.
Each day during Environment Week, which ran in June and was inspired by Vitacress sustainability manager Leah Mathias-Collins, company staff took part in different activities including:
- Water Challenge Vitacress staff were challenged to invest in reusable bottles to fill with tap water, potentially saving up to five litres of water for every litre of bottled water produced.
- Populating Riverways Talks on the work that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, in conjunction with Vitacress Conservation Trust, is undertaking to repopulate riverways with the threatened native white clawed crayfish.
- The Importance of water for Vitacress Tours and educational seminars on conservation and how Vitacress relies on water and maximises its water efficiency through industrial recycling systems to be able to produce its salads and herbs.
- The Ultimate Green Smoothie Staff canteens introduced watercress smoothies to the menu to encourage staff to sample the "green" drink.
The success of Environment Week means it will now become an annual event at Vitacress, which continues to wash its salad leaves with water "borrowed" from the boreholes that are pumped to irrigate its watercress beds, before being passed back to the watercress beds and returned to Bourne Rivulet.
Martignani electrostatic mist blower, Majestic Trees
Chris Durnford, Red Roofs Nursery
Hydrozorb H-PET, Par-Pak Europe/Holfield Plastics
"In hot water: Introducing our biomass boiler", Double H Nurseries
Sustainable Strawberry Production Model, Total Worldfresh