PlantNetwork’s Sustainability Programme

Back in 2019, PlantNetwork launched the PlantNetwork Sustainability Programme after recognising that gardens can improve their environmental performance as well as play a key role in communicating sustainability and related environmental issues to garden visitors. Since then, this programme has led to the creation of a number of reports (particularly peat and water reports), a number of events (including our first ever webinar!) and the promotion of events, news and initiatives from a range of organisations through our weekly newsletter.

The Sustainability Programme was intended to be a repository of information, guidance, links and events aimed at improving the environmental performance of public gardens and designed landscapes. This intention is very much still there although the pandemic has resulted in a slight shift in focus and an hiatus in the delivery of our programme. As such, PlantNetwork will be making 2022 the PlantNetwork Year of Sustainability and we will expanding our definition of sustainability beyond the environment, although this will still be our core theme. We will explore social (including cultural and political) sustainability and economic sustainability alongside environmental issues, particularly the areas of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do.

We will have a number of events, podcasts and publications to look forward to in 2022 which will be part of our Sustainability Programme but we are keen to talk to our members and others working in the horticultural sector about what they are doing that impacts on sustainability – from new steps to reduce carbon footprints to efforts to source consumables that are ethically produced. We would like to publicise your work and encourage sharing of information and resources across the network.

Do get in touch with us so we can publicise your work through a hub webpage which will be launched in early 2022. You might have published a report, carried out research, compiled lists of suppliers who meet certain criteria of sustainability, created training materials, be planning webinars and training courses, developed interpretation – the list is endless! We would be happy to link to your resources or help raise awareness of your events so get in touch. If using social media, use #PlantNetworkSustainable to allow us to repost.

In the meantime, we are building up to our Year of Sustainability with relevant sessions at our upcoming conference, The Modern Garden, so there are already lots of opportunities to engage with the topic of environmental sustainability and share your good practice.

Find out more

What is Environmental Sustainability?

We use the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’, along with ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’ and many others, to indicate that a product or service is better for the environment, compared to an unsustainable equivalent. Sustainability is, however, much more complicated than this and very few ‘sustainable solutions’ are truly sustainable. Read more.