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Gates and the Environment

Garden Centres are great for the environment.

At Gates, we are passionate about caring for our local environment and are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve our carbon footprint.

As an industry we encourage the planting of new trees and shrubs, helping to reduce greenhouse gasses by a huge amount every day. Gates supply over three quarters of a million trees and plants for customers annually.

Tree planting & hedgerow creation

We have a continuous programme of environmental improvement and have planted over 80,000 indigenous trees on our land and created over 15km of native hedgerows, providing vital habitats for mammals, birds and insects.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater from our rooftops is harvested into a huge 400,000 litre underground storage tank, for re-use watering in our plant nursery and on our farm. Surface water drainage is also collected into three large balancing ponds, thereby creating a 5-acre wetland environment supporting many species of wildlife.

Ground source heat pumps & solar energy

Ground source heat pumps provide 50% of our year-round heating. A massive 110 kVA solar panel system is fitted to our south-facing rooftops, supplying electricity for our ground source heating system and air conditioning units. The 4km of underground pipework provides over 50% of our year-round heating.

Renewable energy & electricity consumption

We have chosen an energy supplier that provides us with 100% renewable energy, with a green electricity tariff that’s fair for all. We are also committed to reducing our electricity consumption through the replacement of all light bulbs to LEDs in line with government targets.

Composting

We produce and use our own compost. We compost raw fruit and veg waste from the farm shop and growing waste from the nurseries to be spread back onto our land. Along with the growing waste, the raw food is composted on-site and spread onto our fields as fertiliser.

Using less peat

We are committed to helping achieve the national peat reduction targets, wherever possible sourcing peat free or peat reduced products from our suppliers. We encourage the use of alternative soil improvers such as organic fertiliser, chicken poultry manure and home compost bins; and offer peat-free compost alternatives for our customers.

Reduce, re-use, recycle

Gates is committed to a policy of reducing, re-using and recycling across all areas of our business. Cardboard boxes are made available for re-use by customers and by our logistics department for deliveries. What can’t be re-used is compacted on-site and recycled, along with hard and soft plastic. Glass is also recycled. Our digital transformation policy and new paperless EPOS system means we have been able to reduce our paper and ink usage significantly.

Reducing food packaging

In the farm shop, there’s a loose fill bar where customers fill their own container or can use our Vegware compostable pots provided. There are also loose fill sections in the freezers and our fruit and veg are provided loose and packaging free too. Fresh organic milk and freshly squeezed orange juice are also provided in fill-your-own bottles.

Reducing carrier bags

We encourage customers to re-use our unwanted cardboard boxes, which are provided at the tills in the garden centre and the farm shop. We also provide other environmentally friendly options, including hessian and brown paper bags in the farm shop; as well as a fully recyclable plastic bag for life in the garden centre where customers require a waterproof option.

Minimal food miles

We produce our own beef and lamb on our 600-acre farm in the village, providing meat for our farm shop and restaurants with minimal food miles. We also source local produce wherever possible, including organic milk from a dairy farm less than a mile away.

Recyclable plant pots

We only buy taupe recyclable pots for our own Grown at Gates range and recycle these afterwards. We also aim to buy only from growers using recyclable pots wherever possible. Customers are also encouraged to recycle their pots into our pot recycling bins on-site.

Grown at Gates & our hardy plant guarantee

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by growing as much as possible of our own produce and plants on-site in our large, purpose-built covered growing area. At Gates we’re proud of the quality of our plants, so we’ve added a guarantee on all our hardy plants for a whole year from the date of purchase. Find out more here.

Environmental land management scheme

Gates is proud to be a member of the Government’s Environmental Land Management Scheme (E.L.M.S.), created to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

Wildlife friendly products

We use, stock and actively promote to customers a wide range of products that support wildlife and the environment, including organic alternatives to chemical pest and week control; peat free compost; insect and bee friendly plants and seeds; bee, insect and hedgehog houses; and wild bird feed.

Trading policy & FSC recognition

At Gates, where possible we always aim to buy from local suppliers and support local independent businesses. We believe in trading fairly, ethically and responsibly at all times. Our garden furniture is sourced from sustainable sources and we are working with our suppliers to ensure Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recognition on all appropriate products.

Building for the future

As a business we are growing, which inevitably means new buildings. We are committed to ensuring any development has minimal impact on our environment and liaise closely with local and national environment agencies on every project. We aim for a carbon neutral outcome every time we build by planting more trees.