GTN Sustainability Directory 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

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HTA roadmap guides UK horticulture towards leading edge of sustainable business practice As a green industry, the horticulture sector can and should lead the way in sustainable business practices and efforts to reduce climate change, says the Horticultural Trades Association, which has launched industry-leading guidance on how this could be achieved. Building on existing strong foundations in UK horticulture and landscaping, the HTA has worked with members to develop its first ever Sustainability Roadmap. The HTA says its ground-breaking work identifies five key areas to place horticulture and landscaping at the forefront of sustainable business practice. Designed as a framework for collaboration, with ambitious targets for 2025, achievement against the roadmap’s goals will make a significant contribution to the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. HTA chairman James Barnes called on the industry to embrace the ethos of the roadmap. “Horticulture has an intrinsic connection to the environment - we are a community who cares about the natural world and it is in our interests to safeguard its future,” he said. Following the Prime Minister’s

14 GTN’s Sustainability Directory 2021

recently announced ten-point plan for a “green industrial revolution,” Barnes added: “I believe we have an essential role to play in the government’s plan to transition to a greener economy. As a sector which contributes around £24 billion to the UK’s GDP and supports over half a million jobs, we must demonstrate how we offer real opportunities for green employment and a more sustainable economy as the UK recovers from the impact of Covid.” The roadmap supports the strides already taken towards a more sustainable industry. It will, for example, be central to further progress in tackling issues such as use of plastics. For some time the HTA has been working with members and stakeholders to develop industry-led solutions for the re-use and recycling of horticultural plastics and with local government and the waste industry to increase kerbside recycling of plastics used in horticulture. By 2025, the association wants to see 40% or more of the combined weight of plant pots and packaging, garden chemicals containers and growing media bags sourced from recycled plastic. The Sustainability Roadmap’s five key areas are a direct response to the threats of climate change, plastic pollution, water stress, and biodiversity loss, all of which pose risks to health and environment: 1. Reducing HTA members’ carbon footprints 2. Reducing stress on the UK’s water supply 3. Increasing circularity in horticultural plastics 4. Actively shaping a peat reduction strategy by February 2021, engaging with all stakeholders 5. Fostering innovation in pest and disease management All are felt to be of critical importance to the industry, both commercially and