Coolings wins Commitment to the Environment Award at this year’s Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA).
Coolings Nurseries has been committed to the environment since Arthur Cooling began the business in Knockholt in 1913. As well as a reputation for plant expertise, they are aiming to be the ‘Greenest’ Garden Centre in the UK.
They recycle at least 90% of all on-site waste. Last year, this included 20 tonnes of cardboard and two shipping containers worth of green waste. And plastic plant pots accounted for 14.4 tonnes of the 19 tonnes of plastic the business recycled in 2017.
With one of the largest selections of plants available in the UK, nearly all are grown on site, they are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint. Rainwater is harvested throughout the garden centre, collected in two reservoirs which hold the equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
They have introduced biodegradable carrier bags and recyclable taupe pots to replace carbon black ones, and are trying to get the new pots accepted by Sevenoaks council for domestic recycling. First to offer a recycling scheme in the south east, their public plastic pot recycling scheme is set up at on site at Rushmore Hill, Knockholt.
The on-site restaurant, Arthur’s, uses home-grown fruit and veg from the 'plot to plate' greenhouse and other local produce.
Environmental awareness is promoted in the local community and schools and the Coolings environmental pledge is publicised and shares goals and achievements with customers and locals.
They encourage sensory planting and schemes which attract insects, birds and other animals.
Managing Director, Gary Carvosso, said: “We are delighted to have won this award in recognition of our efforts to minimise our environmental impact, reducing transportation and increasing the use of renewable resources throughout the site.”
Gary continues “We benefit from the support of our customers, who have embraced the schemes, particularly in our efforts to tackle single use plastic within the industry. Our public plastic pot recycling scheme, after a pilot trial, is being used by various local businesses as well as our customers returning pots, and we are aiming to recycle over 20 tonnes per year.”
The Cooling family owns and operates The Gardeners Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt, this 14-acre site also houses the production nurseries for the group, Green and Pleasant also in Knockholt has a 6-acre nature trail and award winning eco shop, the Potted Garden in Bearsted was acquired by the Group in 2017 and Wych Cross Garden Centre and Rose Nursery in Forest Row, East Sussex was purchased by the group last week.