26
Oct

Benefits Of Nature

Benefits of nature is an organisation that aims to make the living and working environments of people more beautiful, healthier and more inviting. To do this, they are enhancing the sustainability of the horticultural sector by means of an ecological footprint calculation.

This is a step-by-step process. One of these steps is to help businesses opt for suppliers and transport companies that contribute the most to sustainability. Another is to help them save on energy and raw materials. Benefits of nature is accomplishing these goals by continuously strengthening the connections between the links in the supply chain, making the efforts to enhance sustainability transparent, and sharing true success stories. Together with Benefits of nature, we stand for beautiful, healthy plants that are honestly and sustainably produced: plants that will introduce green living organisms into everyone’s environment.

VDE plant is the first nursery to have an ecological footprint calculated for all of its products. Since this was the first time this had ever been done, it was a major operation to develop the right Benefits of Naturemethod to calculate the footprint for each plant. Benefits of nature made this calculation by using data collected by VDE plant. This started out by applying a simplistic calculation that was then continuously expanded upon and refined. During this project, advice was obtained from the LEI (the main institute for socio-economic research in agriculture, horticulture, and fisheries in the Netherlands which is a division of Wageningen University and Research), and EcoChain Technologies.

The ecological footprints of all plants produced by VDE plant during 2013, 2014 and 2015 were calculated. The purpose of this pilot study was to develop the methodology for calculating the ecological footprint at the product level in a greenhouse. VDE plant was selected because it had already been involved in sustainable business practices for several years. Another factor was that VDE plant is involved in extremely complex processes since it grows a wide variety of plants, each with very different cropping traits; this would then provide a good test for a method of ecological footprint calculation. Benefits of nature encountered many challenges during this project but these also would contribute to making the following calculations faster and easier.

In March of this year, Benefits of nature initiated a project based on a shared goal of enhancing sustainability within the horticultural sector. This effort maximised the use of each participant’s expertise to create a concept with a single look and feel. All the participants made use of their most sustainability-enhancing products for this project. Contributing to this co-creation were: Benefits of nature, Chrysal, Desch Plantpak, Floramedia, FlowerWatch, Grinzz, Imagro and VDE plant. By pooling our knowledge, expertise and creativity, we have produced an excellent concept for enhancing sustainability along with a unique value proposition. The total concept consists of system using a plant, Aqua Pad, bio-degradable pot, tray and display.