"Take care of me. I'm just on my own." That is an assignment from Mother Nature. Decorum and its growers commit themselves to listening to this urgent call by our planet. There are so many ways towards sustainability, and they all combine perfectly, When there is a will, there is a way. As you will read on, you'll be surprised how some growers are super inventive when it comes to finding sustainable solutions.
6 Pillars of Sustainability by Decorum
Decorum stimulates its growers to think both in and out of the box to maximize their sustainability and minimize the impact on our environment. Six pillars of sustainability mark the efforts done by this label and its growers to fulfill the assignment from Mother Nature happy.
1. Sustainable Energy
Cleaner energy makes our world a better place. The sun and geothermal energy are our greatest friends. All Decorum growers are committed to energy-efficient production. Decorum growers massively use solar panels, geothermal energy, and residual heat to warm up their greenhouses. And some growers are super inventive when it comes to finding sustainable solutions.
2. Water Reuse
The reuse of water makes this world a better place. Water is becoming increasingly scarce. Decorum's growers purify dirty water and use as much rainwater as possible to grow plants. The use of natural (rain) water is also better for the products.
Decorum growers have heard this message loud and clear. The massive achievement of an MPS or Global GAP certificate shows that the growers believe in deeds. This means that they do everything they can to use as little energy as possible and to provide good working conditions for their employees. Since 2021 all Decorum growers also obtain a social certificate. You can rest assured these growers take care of humans and nature.
4. Reduced Plastic Use
Decorum growers strive to use sustainable materials. For example, its labels are already partly made from recycled plastic, as are the pots. Almost all used pots consist of 90% recycled plastic. But Decorum growers look beyond packaging materials and pots. Plastic trays also consist of 90% recycled plastic.
5. Biological Crop Control
Fewer chemicals make this world a better place. The growers use the power of nature to protect their crops. Good insects eat bad insects and that is good for the environment. Decorum works to minimize the possible effects of crop protection on people and the environment. Its joint goal with the growers is to achieve complete biological protection.
6. Corporate Social Responsibility
Decorum growers have an eye for their total environment. They are locally involved and invest in the local community. From sponsoring local sports clubs to offering opportunities to employees with a disadvantage in the labor market. They have their hearts in the right place. Especially for people. Interested in what your Decorum grower does for the environment? Just ask and you will be amazed!
Decorum Growers About Sustainability
How do these 6 pillars work in practice? These are a few stories that give an insight into the efforts done by Decorum and its growers toward a more sustainable world. Many solutions will sound familiar and logical, while others are downright surprising and creative. But all make sense and help in their own way. That's for sure.
John Grootscholten is the name-giver and owner of JoGrow, known for its Feel Green-labeled aglaonema, croton, philodendron, polyscias, and sansevieria.
Growing tropical plants in the Netherlands in a sustainable way, is that possible, John?
"Yes, it is possible! Actually, we do a lot to be a sustainable grower. First of all, by sitting at a location close to the auction route. We do not use any gas, since we are 100% on geothermal energy - our boiler has really been switched off.
Furthermore, we do not supply CO2, so I sometimes say to visitors: "with our plants, we make the auction route CO2 free again." And our pest control is already 90% organic. JoGrow is certified in MPS A, MPS SQ (Socially Qualified), and MPS GAP."
Plants are one thing, but these are put in pots, right? How about the sustainability of these packaging materials? John has a good eye for the opportunities that are available when it comes to packaging:
"Our pots are completely made of household waste, we often already deliver our products in cardboard trays, and the cardboard labels on the plants are made of recycled materials. Even the ink is organic!"
Together2Grow is actively working to give concrete meaning to the concept of sustainability. One of the owners, Fedor van Veen explains:
"In 2023 part our greenhouses will be connected to geothermal energy. This is sustainable heat, it is extracted locally from the deep subsurface and is available in many places. The heat is extremely suitable for heating greenhouses and buildings and is good for the environment."
That is just one example of a whole range of measures taken by this grower of alstroemeria and florinca. Others include the extensive use of LED lighting, which gives this nursery a double boost, according to Fedor:
"LED technology makes an important contribution to energy savings, and also contributes to a stable production of top quality flowers."
Solar panels, biological solutions for pest management, organic fertilizers; it's all done at Together2Grow. No wonder this nursery has a vast collection of certifications for years already, like MPS A, MPS SQ, MPS GAP, and GRASP.
Fedor van Veen is proud of his company's progress in the field of sustainability. Everyone's invited to come and see:
"We at Together2Grow are involved in our close environment. We think it is important that everyone in our neighborhood is aware of our business activities, we are happy to open our greenhouses for visits to demonstrate this."
The plants in the greenhouses of Richplant come from all corners of the world, from all different climates. How does owner Richard Scheffers deal with this?
"All over the world, nature has other surprises to offer. That is what makes the profession of plant breeder so fascinating. Every day we respond to the climate wishes of plants that come from different parts of the world.
We are working on sustainability on a daily basis. In addition to our Corporate Social Responsibility, we also like to make a positive contribution to the environment, striving for a sustainable world. For example, we have a number of Green Label greenhouses that contribute to making greenhouse horticulture more sustainable and meet strict environmental requirements.
We have an arrangement with a local beekeeper. He has sown various types of flowers and he has planted shrubs on our land, so that various types of bees can find honey and pollen all year round.
The water we use is 100% recycled, so nothing is wasted. Our warehouse is covered with 745 solar panels, producing energy with the equivalent of 40 households.
And we work with a super team of permanent employees and we are careful with them. We, therefore, ensure that work can be carried out in an ergonomically responsible manner.
Laste, but not least, we are certified for MPS-GAP, MPS-SQ, MPS-Q (Quality), GRASP, and Plant Proof. These labels from the Milieu Project Sierteelt (MPS) foundation offer customers the certainty that the holder of these labels meets the strictest requirements in the field of quality assurance, traceability, the environment, and social (working) conditions."
The Cat and the Chickens
Besides all the efforts done by these three top growers, there are a few Decorum growers who were thinking more off the beaten tracks when they came up with their own ideas of sustainable growth.
Take Kentia grower Gerrit Stolze who has assigned some important tasks to his cat Guus. His job is to safeguard the 1.5 hectares of greenhouse against mice, rats, and other intruders.No need for chemicals or other environmental-unfriendly measures. Just let Guus do his job.