Office plants thrive despite cuts

Indoor planting firms surprised by top City investment bank's decision to dispense with greenery.

Indoor planting firms are reporting strong growth this year despite businesses cutting back on office plants in a bid to save costs.

Among businesses and local authorities to have cancelled contracts, it emerged last week that investment bank Goldman Sachs was the latest to stop the supply and maintenance of plants in its London offices.

But managing director of Urban Planters Thomas Palfreyman said he was surprised at the news because the market was recovering this year.

"We are getting twice the number of enquires and although we lost around 13 per cent of our contracts in 2010, we have actually seen 33 per cent growth."

Palfreyman said providing value for money and the right information was key to keeping clients. "One of our large local authority clients cancelled its contract but reinstated it after we pointed out plants' proven impact on air quality, carbon footprint and absenteeism," he added.

Kenneth Freeman, international technical director at indoor plant specialist Ambius, also reported growing interest from businesses. "The fact is plants can play a key role in creating an engaging and healthy working environment. Scepticism is understandable but these claims are backed by studies."

KeyStat

Plants boost productivity and cut sick leave, according to studies by Ambius, the HTA and the Universities of Reading and Exeter

32% - Rise in productivity from staff allowed to choose and place plants

23% - Decrease in annual sick leave among staff in offices with plants.


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