Costing the Earth?
The Garden Landscapers was born partly out of a desire to protect and improve our natural environment. The UK’s gardens comprise a greater acreage than all our national nature reserves combined, and we feel horticulture offers us a tremendous opportunity to overcome losses in biodiversity.
A Naturalistic Planting Approach
A naturalistic approach to gardening and design is a certainly a step in the right direction. By using the ecological principle of layering in our planting schemes, we introduce a diverse mix of plants that provide for a myriad of life through the different vertical sections of planting, from ground cover to trees. Planting in this way minimises the ongoing intervention required in gardens, ultimately conserving both energy and water and allowing healthy ecological relationships to grow and flourish.
Loss of biodiversity however is only one part of the story as we face unprecedented environmental changes driven by human activities. It is symptomatic of the broader climate crisis which has become a threat to nature, human lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing worldwide.
While we believe our approach can make a positive contribution, we are not kidding ourselves. Our industry still has a lot to answer for and there is no doubting our work has an unavoidable footprint. It’s not yet viable for us to do a complete audit of our environmental impact right through our supply chain and so we’re not able to quantify our net impact.
Despite this, we believe we should be shouldering the negative impacts caused by our services as much as we can. These are the things whose costs aren’t measured by traditional economics, but which we do all ultimately pay the price for somewhere along the line. An easy example is the carbon emissions that result from running our vans and machinery contributing to climate change. Across the board right now, these costs aren’t borne by the producer and don’t figure in the final consumer price – we’re looking to change that.
We structure our budget around a 1% of all sales donation to the World Land Trust’s Action Fund. By viewing our negative environmental impact as a running cost of our company, we are holding ourselves accountable. At the same time, we are proving that these wider environmental and societal costs can be embedded into a company’s pricing structure without consequence to the consumer – our prices are no less competitive in our market as a result.
The World Land Trust
The World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats. Through a network of local partner organisations around the world, who engage support and commitment among their local communities, WLT funds the creation and expansion of reserves and biological corridors to provide permanent protection for wildlife, and in doing so, lock up carbon and address climate change. WLT has been saving land to save species for more than 30 years, and today their work to protect existing tropical forest habitat is more important than ever to save what remains of these vital ecosystems.
The Action Fund enables WLT to respond quickly to the most urgent conservation priorities. This Fund supports a portfolio of land purchase and protection projects, as well as other conservation priorities, as and when action is needed. In the short time since we partnered with The World Land Trust, we have donated over £3,000 to the fund. It’s not a massive sum, but for a company the size of The Garden Landscapers it is something we’re incredibly proud of.
As we continue to donate more, we urge more companies to follow in our footsteps. Making regular donations to environmental causes is not a silver bullet but by paying for their pollution, companies demonstrate a firm commitment to creating a more equitable and sustainable world where their communities live healthy, happy lives on a healthy, happy planet. In a world that is ultimately governed by the laws of capitalism, we believe it must be the company’s responsibility to lead us out of the climate crisis and donating to charities such as WLT is as good a place as any to start. Donate here.
The sensible attitude to conservation is to conserve animal and plant communities and that means land… World Land Trust recognised that a long time before others and it became their first objective. The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.
Sir David Attenborough