A leader means more than being the most successful or the most on- trend. It means anticipating our guests needs to improve their experience while setting an example in corporate social responsibility. We have designed an Environmental Plan that will see changes at our offices, farms and garden centres as part of a long-term commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
Sheridan Nurseries is committed to continuous improvement of all processes that affect the environment in all areas of our business. We will accomplish this by:
- Ensuring that all staff are aware of the environmental issues that impact our business
- Continuing to research innovative, sustainable solutions to incorporate into our products, our internal processes and every aspect of our growing, distribution and sales chain
- Recognizing our vendors and product suppliers who use environmentally responsible practices
- Ensuring that our environmental objectives support our fiscal goals
- Monitoring, measuring and communicating the progress of each task
- Plants add oxygen to the air
- Plants attract beneficial insects, birds & other wildlife
- Plants can be moved, divided or shared, even environmentally composted Maturing plants appreciate, adding value to your home or property
- Plants reduce CO2
- Plants are natural air filters and help to combat indoor air pollution
- Coco-fibre discs have been added to every container-grown plant produced at our farms to reduce moisture loss by up to 30%
- A 117 million litre pond has been built to catch rainwater and run-off
- Drip irrigation has replaced sprinklers & broadcast watering reducing water consumption by up to 80%
- Recognized by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority for our water conservation initiatives Our Garden Pharmacy offers organic pest control products
- Introduced degradable plastic shopping bags and trunk liners
- Introduced our exclusive plastic pot recycling program
The benefits of purchasing locally-grown plants:
- Since they have been grown nearby, they are tolerant of local growing conditions and weather
- These plants won’t have an opportunity to bring in any new or exotic insects and diseases from far away places
- Buying locally means shipping less distance — reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions
- We take pride in offering products and services that enhance our customers’ living space. We also want to ensure that the means of creating this living space is at minimal cost to the environment
A revolutionary water system within the nursery industry!
The primary reason for beginning this project was to provide a back up water source for irrigation if we were to experience serious water drought conditions. However, Sheridan Nurseries has realized what a HUGE benefit this is for both the company and the environment. Our pond is 32 million gallons, 32 feet deep and covers 3.5 acres, while the collection and recycling area is another 3 acres!
Our new system is a fully functional bio-pond, which captures rainwater and over-spray run off from our farms and filters the water through the series of settling ponds and water plants making it a self sufficient and environmentally friendly source for irrigation water. This system will recycle a minimum of 278,000 and up to 720,000 gallons of irrigation use each day through critical summer months.
What does this mean? It is estimated that in 2010 our bio-pond has reduced our draw from the river systems by approximately 24%. This represents a reduction of 40,000,000 gallons of water a year – an accomplishment that Sheridan Nurseries is very proud of! IT is amazing to see silt laden water enter the fore-bay and almost perfectly clear water spill out into the pond without any chemical treatment.
Our Growing Up Green program was created to encourage families to work together to support their child’s school with fundraising.
Part of the current issue on recycling is whether it will be worth the effort. Will there be more energy required and negative impact on the environment with recycling, than simply throwing waste into the landfill?
Studies have shown that in most cases, it is in fact the better way to go.
- Recycling reduces a country’s carbon dioxide emissions by millions of tons per year
- It conserves natural resources since reusing means less need to produce new products
- Recycling also decreases the amount of waste in landfills that emit methane, a greenhouse gas, and reduces emissions of pollutants that can contribute to smog and the contamination of water tables
Therefore, we would ask that everybody be mindful of “tossing in the garbage” versus recycling. We must all contribute to reaching our recycling goals.
Sheridan Nurseries is a leader in garden product offerings and now we want to establish ourselves as a company who informs the public about sustainable issues.
Whether it’s about communicating the positive impact of planting a tree on tree wraps, teaching the basics about a plant’s life cycle to kids in our Little Diggers program or passing on gardening tips at the retail level, we need to let the public know that not only do we sell gardening products but we are experts on green gardening.
- Participation in the “Take It Back Halton!” Recycling Program
- Growing up Green school program – outreach to schools
- Participation in the LEAF Program highlighting native plants
- Tree wraps promoting the benefits of oxygen generation by planting trees
- Participation in the Fusion Garden Campaign with the Region of Peel for water efficient gardening
Ten years ago, for most commercial growers operating on a scale like Sheridan Nurseries, changing to natural and organic pest control solutions was unthinkable. Now, it’s an important objective. The consumer wants healthy plants and they want these plants to be naturally healthy, and with continued research and applications of the newest natural controls, over time we will be able to deliver to our customers – both trade and retail – plant materials that have been produced in a more sustainable way.
On the retail side, educating the public about sensible gardening techniques will continue. The message needs to reach our guests in new and engaging ways so that the plants they purchase can be kept in optimum health. We all know that healthy material planted properly and in the right place is less likely to need pest control products. But if they do choose to use a control, a natural choice should be readily available.
- 100% natural/organic pest control products at the stores
- Adoption of natural products for pest control, herbicides and fertilizers at the farms where feasible
- Use of recycled materials for growing media
- Replacement of plastic pots with biodegradable material
Sheridan Nurseries is a leader in the gardening industry however being a leader means more than being the most successful. It also means clearing new paths and setting an example concerning corporate social responsibility.
We take pride in offering products and services to consumers that will enhance their living space, but we need to ensure that the means of creating this living space is at minimal cost to the environment. While it is true that Sheridan Nurseries is in the green, as in gardening business, we also want to continue to promote and work in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. While we have always been actively ‘green’, recycling and/or reusing paper and cardboard, recycling glass and metal, reducing the use of pesticides in our growing methods, we want to do more.
The green approach must be applied to the products we buy, sell, grow, and the way we perform tasks throughout our workday. We have outlined below the categories where our greening challenges lie and the specific programs or actions within these categories. Project leaders have been chosen to implement and manage the monitoring of the programs and provide regular updates on our progress.
The need to reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in the landfill is at critical levels. The tasks in this category are simple to implement and adhere to. In a very short time, these practices will become quite natural, to the point where you will find it difficult to remember a time when it was done any other way.
- Reduce the use of plastic bags by switching shoppers to recyclable shopping bags
- Replace plastic bags and trunk liners with biodegradable material
- Compost organic waste at the farm
- Redirecting organic waste at the stores to appropriate facilities
- Reduce the use of paper wherever possible
- Use of recycled materials for all company printed materials
- Research options for returning outdated/broken items such as phones, PDAs, etc.
- Yard waste bags available and promoted at all stores