Howard Nurseries has been listed once more in the Green 100 businesses of Suffolk and Norfolk.
The grower's two million gallon reservoir holds recycled water from its two hectares container area, which is processed through a screen filtration system and chlorine-dioxide water treatment to control plant pathogens.
The nursery uses a combination of mains water, recycled water and abstracted ground water for irrigation, at present an average annual volume of 38,000m³.
A reservoir extension in October 2013 will lead Howard's to be self-sufficient on its container area for water.
Shredded paper is used for packing orders which the nursery generates, alongside using three other local companies' shredded paper with staff and villagers donating old newspapers for packing. Cardboard is also used for packing orders or recycled. Howard reuses tin and plastic plant labels.
Howard's propagation department sterilizes 11,000 plug trays annually to re-use three times per year in production. To help reduce pesticide costs Howard Nurseries breeds biological predators to help control pests in the glasshouse. This saved the grower £150 in the first year.
On the container area the grower recycles 270,270 used pots and trays annually and composts 250 tonnes of plant waste which equals about 99 per cent of all plant waste produced, which is then composted for two years and applied back onto its land.
In 2011 40 solar panels were installed which use 50 per cent of the energy generated. They should pay for themselves within seven years.
The nursery hosted 100 visitors attending a Sustainable Ornamentals Production day in August, highlighting sustainable steps visitors could work towards. Trials were demonstrated for the government’s 2030 peat-free deadline, each attending company received a bag of peat-free to trial.