Doing Our Bit

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we're committed to doing our bit for the planet. We've made some brilliant strides towards where we'd like to be, and we're getting greener, but there are still many fantastic opportunities to improve. Here are a few ways we've improved over the last few years.

Reducing Plastic Waste

We now use paper wraps (or nothing) on our catalogues and use plant-based pillows to protect our products.

FSC Accredited

We now use FSC certified paper suppliers, where possible, for office supplies and promotional material.

1 Million Seed Packets Saved

We work with our retail seed partners to save the unnecessary destruction of over 1 million seed packets per year.

No Neonicotinoid Pesticides

In Autumn 2017, we stopped the use of all neonicotinoid pesticides at our nursery in Torquay.

Reduced Transport Emissions

To reduce our transport emissions, we now grow over 1 million plants at our nursery in Torquay.

Net Contributors of Electricity

We have invested in solar panels for our warehouse roof and converted all our office lighting to LED panels.

Sustainability Accreditations

We have applied for a number of accreditations to encourage other businesses to make a positive change.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

We recycle wherever possible and have even introduced a worm farm to break down our kitchen waste.

Carbon Offset Program

We are introducing a new carbon offset program to further reduce the impact we have on our environment.

Peat Free

Why being peat-free matters

Peat has been much used in horticulture because of its ability to hold water and retain nutrients but the extraction of peat has taken its toll.

Peat bogs are very much the unsung heroes of our natural world. They act as a carbon store, which when extracted and broken down in our gardens releases CO2 which could otherwise have been locked up for tens of thousands of years. They’re also a great habitat for wildlife, play an active role in water management, and even preserve things well for archaeology!

However, peat bog mass is being extracted 60 times faster than it’s being laid down… Which is clearly unsustainable.

Suttons home grown plants are 100% peat-free

“We’ve switched to a 100% peat-free compost in our own nursery in Devon and are proud to be one of the first commercial growers to have achieved this milestone. This means that next year we’ll be growing close to 1 million plants in peat-free compost.”

“In addition, we’ve also worked closely with our growing partners to remove peat from all our value and garden ready flower plug plants.”

“So, this year 95% of the compost used to grow our plants will be peat-free and we’re talking to our partners to remove that final 5% as soon as possible.”

David Robinson,
Managing Director, Suttons.

How you can make a difference

You can help by buying peat-free compost for use in your own garden or allotment, and by encouraging retailers and the Government in their efforts to phase out the use of peat in gardening products. To give you a helping hand, we’ve discounted our peat-free compost by 5% as a thank you for doing your bit. Click here to find out more.

Seeds for Bees

Our Pollinators and Predators collection includes seeds for bees and other beneficial insects. By planting seeds that encourage pollinators such as bees and other insects to your garden, you can gain a tiny gardening team to do your pest control and pollination, all with the added benefit of supporting British native wildlife by providing habits and food sources.

The natural behaviours of pollinators and predators will increase your crop productivity and reduce insect pest numbers. Companion planting was widely used centuries ago in cottage gardens across Britain, but has since declined, along with the numbers of pollinators and predators. This new collection of seeds for bees and other pollinators will help you to encourage biodiversity in your garden or allotment.

You’ll find seeds for bumblebees, honeybees, ladybirds, hoverflies and lace wings, and they all help to do their bit for your garden. Whether you’re keen to support bees, or protect your veg and flowers from pests, our Predators and Pollinators range has a variety that’s beneficial to your ecosystem.

Poly Wraps

To reduce plastic waste, we’ve moved to “naked” or paper wraps on our catalogue mailings. This removes the need for us to enclose our catalogues in plastic wraps – something which, until now, has been necessary to ensure your catalogue arrives undamaged.

We have also committed to using compostable plant-based polymer “pillows” as parcel fillers to ensure the safe transit of our products through the post.