15 April 2024
   
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Sustainability & Environment
Growers

Environmental & Sustainability Policy

The Ball team as part of the world wide Ball Horticultural Group, is committed to minimising the impact of its operations on the environment by means of operational improvements and innovative products. We will work towards creating a sustainable supply chain and developing, sourcing and distributing sustainable products and have a 10 year roadmap for sustainability.

• We are committed to innovative breeding programs bringing better plants to market. Seeds and plant material sold shall be from managed renewable sources and conventional breeding programs.

• We will develop responsible growing practices. Whenever possible Integrated Pest Management using biological control techniques shall be carried out. If pesticides are used they will be used in accordance with current legislation.

• We will develop our operations to use energy and water resources efficiently.

• We will make use of resources that can be re-used or recycled. Waste will be minimised, recycled or disposed of safely.

• We will be aware of our community commitments. Locally our neighbours, minimising noise, emissions and other impacts on the local community and environment. Worldwide the Ball Horticultural Company commits to improving educational, financial, medical, beautification activities in our business locations in the developing world advancing social and environmental stewardship.


Underpinning this commitment, our production nursery is accredited with:
• OHAS – Ornamental Horticulture Assurance Scheme for best practices https://hta.org.uk/partnerships-groups/ohas/the-ohas-standards.htmland
• LEAF – Linking Environment and Farming to inspire and enable more circular approaches to farming and food systems through integrated, regenerative and vibrant nature-based solutions, that deliver productivity and prosperity among farmers, enriches the environment and positively engages young people and wider society https://leafuk.org/


Examples of practices we carry out to try and minimise our environmental impact include:

Waste – we separate different waste stream such as paper, cardboard, plastic trays, pots, polythene sheets, IT equipment, metal, glass for recycling. Our green waste is collected by a local farmer for soil improving.
Energy – we encourage all staff to save energy when and where they can. We have a Climate Change Agreement in place for all three sites and strive to meet out energy saving targets. In 2015, we installed a 3.3 MwH bio-mass boiler plant at our Stratford-upon-Avon site.
Water – We try and reduce waste by using boom and trickle irrigation where possible. We have also been implementing tray weighing techniques to help predict the optimum time to water the plug trays. At our Stratford site, we aim to use a blend of 70% rainwater and 30% spring water to irrigate the crops. This has greatly reduced our mains water usage on site.
Pesticides – As part of our Integrated Crop Management programme we always try and use bio-friendly plant protection products, before using any chemical option. We do not use Neo Nicotinoids in our Plug production in the UK or Portugal.
Peat – We are committed to and are extensively trialling with our existing suppliers, and working with the broader Ball organisation, to research peat free alternatives. This is constantly under review as we progress with trials. Our Perennial shrub (grey pot) liners in are produced in a coir-bark, peat free substrate.
Pollution Control – At Stratford we have three bio filters to treat all our pesticide washings. The run-off water from the nursery is treated via a series of reed beds. The quality of the run-off water is analysed to make sure that there is no contamination.
Wildlife and conservation – Created a wildflower meadow and butterfly bank in the field around the bio mass boiler, where we have planted over 100 trees and nearly 800 hedging plants. The site has been a transect walk since 2016 for Warwickshire Butterfly Conservation. We have been given Local Wildlife Site status by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, because we are the only site in Warwickshire where the wildflower Brookweed grows.
Plastics - We have always collected trays from our customers which are then returned to the manufacturer for recycling and this will continue. We are phasing in a fully reusable tray over the coming years which will close the loop on needing to recycle.


Ball Horticultural Company has been making sustainability part of its business practices for years!

‘Longevity’ features our company’s worldwide efforts to adhere to its corporate objective: Grow A Green Future.

Available only as an online document, ‘Longevity’ is divided into three sections:

• Sustainable Buildings
• Supply Chain
• Social and Environmental Stewardship


The 30-page report highlights Ball Horticultural Company’s vision for a long and healthy future and offers a snapshot of our accomplishments, as well as our commitments to promote sustainable practices as we colour the world. It includes a feature on our own UK plant production facility Bordon Hill Nurseries, in Stratford Upon Avon; a model of sustainable action, (page 23) with its revolutionary bio-bed system to purify chemical waste and reed beds to clean and handle run-off water from the 22 acres of greenhouses. The report also features a closer look at two brand-new facilities: the Las Limas farm in Nicaragua, and the Ball Premier Lab, which were designed from the ground up to be more sustainable. Many of these reports are supported with videos, just click on the video link in the report.

Of course we didn’t print the report, it’s only available on line. But if you do print off a copy please remember to recycle!
To access the 2013 Sustainability Report: ‘Longevity’” or to download a PDF copy click here.

 
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