Garden Retail Awards 2009: Best Environmental Policy

WINNER: Garden & Leisure Group

The Garden & Leisure Group (G&L) volunteered to take part in a pilot scheme for HTA members to develop and test an environmental management support package. The project was funded by Defra using Landfill Tax revenue and managed by environmental consultant White Young Green working in close partnership with the HTA.

G&L reviewed the legal aspects, duty of care, customer expectations, taxes and duties, supply chain, sustainability and NGO pressures and identified four aspects to prioritise: electricity (for lighting and power); heating fuel (electric, gas, LPG and oil); water (mains, extracting and harvesting); and waste (removal and recycling).

G&L has made significant progress in reducing raw materials used, CO2 emissions, mains water and waste sent to landfill. As well as fulfilling its environmental commitment, it has produced increased revenue through reduced costs, reduced heating temperatures and methods of operations offsetting energy price increases.

Better housekeeping has resulted in companies paying G&L for waste, increasing the amount it recycles and a significant reduction in mains water used/wasted. During this period, projects previously proposed received renewed urgency and G&L has removed all heating and fuel oil tanks on all developed sites (removing the risk of environmental pollution), replaced diesel forklifts with LPG (reducing CO2 emissions), converted oil-fired heating boilers to LPG (reducing CO2 emissions and improving efficiency) and installed a foul-water treatment plant (removing the risk of environmental pollution). The treated water from the plant was also used for irrigation, with the overflow discharged to the ground to replenish underground aquifers.

All the projects have improved G&L's environmental credentials and reduced the group's carbon footprint. Apart from the foul-water tank, all achieved a less than 18-month payback and they all attracted 100 per cent enhanced capital allowance.

Garden & Leisure Group has been registered under the IEMA Acorn Scheme as successfully achieving phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the British Standard 8555 2003 Environmental Management Systems. This also qualifies Garden & Leisure Group to apply for ISO14001 certification.


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