Having a focus on environmental sustainability in our business has led to programs including water recycling, plastic pot recycling, beneficial bacteria control of disease, integrated pest management programs, paperless management programs, solar power and use of renewable products in our pottting media.
Award winning innovationSavewater!® Awards 2011
- Finalist, Business – Large for outstanding innovation and achievement in water conservation and efficiency
- Finalist, Prime Minister's Water Wise Award for water efficiency excellence
- Category Award Winner – Export and Wholesale
Making the most of our resources
PGA has a sustainable and responsible approach to water management. Our 'Total Water Management System' involves the capture, treatment, efficient application and cyclic reuse of our water resources for container plant production at both our Wonga Park and Monbulk sites. This has resulted in:
- 90% reduction on mains water reliance
- uniform distribution of water and the right rate,
- reduction in fertiliser levels and subsequent leaching, and
- efficient variable speed pumps reducing power consumption.
We dramatically reduce our paper waste via comprehensive IT systems that run through all areas of the business including admin, sales, dispatch, production and research and development departments. This also meshes with 100% recycling of waste paper and cardboard generated from general business activities.
Plastic usage is strategically minimised and we maintain a constant reduction focus throughout the business:
- We were one of the first wholesale nurseries to stop usage of plastic 50mm tubes and shift to renewable wood fibre 'Fertil' pots. This results in the reduction of approximately 2.5 million plastic units each year.
- We have addressed label production in working with shapes that eliminate any avoidable wastage in production, whilst using fully recyclable PP5 material.
- All suitable plastic, including waste pots and trays are recycled.
Being energy conscious is a core PGA value. Our 15kW solar install has significantly reduced our annual consumption and subsequent carbon footprint.
Main irrigation pumping stations at both sites traditionally have high power demand. Modern variable speed pumps now only run as fast as the irrigation system demands at any point in time dramatically reducing power consumption.
Over the last decade we have developed an Integrated Pest and Disease Management program. The balance of minimal, low impact chemical use – integrated biological controls including plant environment manipulation, strategic introduction of beneficial insect, nematodes, fungi and mycorrhiza – has enabled a reduction in chemical applications of more than 50% and the virtual elimination of chemical groups harmful to pollinators, including bees.