The demand for green, healthy, social and sustainability is increasing. Corporate social responsibility, respect for people, and the environment are themes that we continue to develop in our company. In this way we are working on an increasingly clean and sustainable production of our plants. In this blog we tell you everything about what we do to make this happen.
We cut down on the water use. When it rains we store the water and use it for our plants. Since 1992 we have been reusing the water that we give to our plants. As a result, we save on both water and nutrients and we stopped emissions into the surface water. We take samples from the water that comes back from the plants and on that information we calculate our plant nutrition. We give what the plant needs and regularly take soil samples to see if the soil is in balance.
We are a participant from the very first hour at MPS. We are certified for the MPS A – MPS GAP – MPS Social Qualified – MPS Quality and FFP labels. Through these certifications of sustainability, we have a good insight into what we do and where we can improve. We are also closely engaged with ‘Benefits Of Nature’. This organization calculates and improves the footprint of companies and their products in international agri- and horticulture. After this calculation, they help entrepreneurs with the further development of the sustainability of the company.
We separate our waste in: a green organic stream, plastic and building materials. An example of good sustainability in the chain are our plant pots. These are made from recycled plastic. Our supplier of pots ‘van Krimpen’ collects the damaged plant pots from us and other growers and makes new plant pots of this waste. They also add plastic waste from households, which means that our plant pots consist of 50% recycled plastic.
We are closely connected to Koppert Biological Systems. Koppert wants to make crops resistant in collaboration with nature. Nature is a fascinating world, which works circularly and has a solution for everything. Koppert works on the economic application of the solutions that nature has to offer. Because we work systematically and scout our crops every week for pests, unpleasant surprises during cultivation are avoided as much as possible. Our philosophy is: biological if possible, chemical if only necessary. Only if all biological control fails, chemical products are used. We strive to a clean future, but we have to be able to ‘reset’ the cultivation if necessary. In this way we come closer and closer to the stricter environmental requirements that our customers demand.
There are ‘Stegdoppel’ plates on our greenhouse roof. These are two plastic plates on each other where so-called “steggen” are in between. The space and air that is trapped works as an isolation and therefore keeps the warmth inside. ‘Stegdoppel’ plates save 30% heat compared to a normal glass greenhouse. The crops are divided into blocks within the greenhouse. This allows us to maintain different temperature settings in different departments. Our tropical plants demand a higher temperature compared to other departments, which we keep cooler. We give the plants the conditions they also have in nature. An additional advantage of this is that the number of m3 of gas we use has decreased. We use fans to get a good temperature distribution. To further reduce the energy requirements, the screen clothes are more often closed and the moisture control has improved over the years. We can apply the principle of ‘the new cultivation’ wherever possible. Good screening is important and where ever necessary we invest to reduce energy consumption one step a time. This is a continuously process.
Energy / deployment CHP
The heat that we need to grow our plants optimally is provided by the use of a CHP. A CHP is an engine that drives a generator by the input of gas and thus generates electricity for the energy grid. The cooling of this machine is done with the water that is in the heating network of our greenhouses. The CO2 that is released during the production of electricity is used in our greenhouses, because plants need CO2 to grow. By working in this way, we use everything that a CHP produces: electricity, heat and CO2. In the Netherlands, large amounts of heat are generated as a result of the production of electricity. 60% of the energy that is released during the production of electricity is heat and is generally not used. Compared to large power plants, we use all products that are released, which makes this a very sustainable way of heating.
A clean future does not just happen. We are committed to providing a better and cleaner environment for ourselves, our employees and the future generations.
The video about biological control is made by Koppert Biological