Reducing our environmental impact on the world.
Hopefully most people today understand the impact humanity is having on the Earth. Our mission is centred on creating innovative products, which minimise the impact on our beautiful planet. Demand will always exist for things like compost and doormats. But we take our role seriously in making sure they are sourced, manufactured, and delivered as responsibly as possible with minimal environmental impact.
We are working tirelessly to ensure we work to best practices and standards. Keeping ahead of initiatives, which work towards the goal of sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, rather than being an empty badge of success for marketing purposes.
Here we breakdown and detail the initiatives we are part of and why, but we also acknowledge there is so much more to be done. We want to share this information transparently with our customers. By engaging with our customers and supporters in what we are doing and opening the discussion we hope to increase consumer knowledge of sustainability and carbon neutrality. A means for better collective understanding of the issues and path to improvement.
It takes work. It is not an easy path. But, with dedication and a long-term view our company can succeed in reducing our impact as much as possible.
Ultimately, we aim to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Sustainability: coir compost and coir products
Sustainability and the whole idea of carbon offsetting and neutrality is still a grey area with many associated questions. Which part of manufacturing is sustainable? Does it just relate to the materials? Is anything truly sustainable?
We will not go into these questions here. However, we believe the conclusion is to work on as many fronts as possible. Looking at every aspect and process across our business to work towards sustainable practices across the board.
Despite several accreditations and schemes being available to demonstrate green credentials, we don’t just want to collect more badges than a Scout’s arm. We want (and need) our efforts to really count. This allows us to lead the way in environmentally friendly products within the gardening and home industry, including our compost, doormats, or any other products we create in future.
Sustainability dictionary definition:
Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
“the pursuit of global environmental sustainability”
In short, this is why we love and chose Coir; a by-product of the coconut industry, which would otherwise go to waste. By creating innovative products and solutions using what is a truly sustainable material, we hope to replace the more harmful products on the market. Particularly peat-based composts. Despite decades of understanding the high amount of carbon emissions created by digging up peat bogs, this practice still sadly continues.
Coco&Coir and our parent manufacturing company Southern Trident are working to full transparency and accountability of all products we produce. We will soon be releasing full details of the journey of our coir from the coconut to the compost or products in your home. Watch this space!
We continue, as we have since our company was formed, to reduce our impact on the Earth as much as physically possible and innovate in this area. However, there remain broader constraints of technological and process found across all manufacturing. This is slowing progress to achieve the results needed to become truly sustainable and have no impact whatsoever on the planet.
To ensure we are doing everything possible with the means available today we have recently hired a sustainability sourcing manager. They are tasked with reviewing sustainability practices and our broader impacts across our logistics and entire supply chain. The role is to identify opportunities and areas we can improve as soon as possible. Then form a longer-term plan to further reduce our impact and increase sustainability across all aspects of our products manufacturing and business in general.
Responsible Sourcing Scheme
The Responsible Sourcing Scheme (RSS) is a relatively new initiative brought about by the industry. It is designed to create a standard for sourcing materials that create the variety of composts available in the market. To drive the peat free agenda across the Horticulture Industry and allow consumers to make more informed decisions.
The CEO of our parent company Southern Trident is a member of the board and actively works across the industry to improve peat-free compost and soil improver products as well as consumer knowledge with a new form of product labelling.
DEFRA are involved, manufacturers, retails, growers, and NGOs. They have collectively created the scheme together to clearly illustrate the impact growing media like compost is having on the environment. The steering group for the scheme is a mix of representatives from those stakeholders, to ensure the industry collectively agrees and moves to this approach.
The aim here is to help consumers make buying choices that are better for the planet. Yet ultimately incentivise manufacturers to move to more sustainable materials and practices in future. We’re all in this together!
The scheme is designed to look at and improve a range of areas:
- energy use
- water use
- social compliance
- habitat and biodiversity
- resource use efficiency
The outcome is to measure all products using the same rigorous methods against the above criteria to give each a grade. This aims to simplify understanding of what impact products have on the environment using the same criteria.
You can find more information and the calculator used to create the Responsible Sourcing Scheme grading here: https://growingmedia.co.uk/responsible-sourcing/calculator.html
The new labelling began for the growing season in 2022. Keep an eye out for the Responsible Sourcing Scheme logo on packaging in store and online!
Soil Association Organic Certification
The Soil Association mark is well known today. It has been around since the 1960’s and is the world’s first organic products standard. Yet the soil association is more than just about soil and is working across the spectrum of human health, the environment and animal welfare.
Its primary focus is to test and certify organic products and farming in relation to EU production laws currently in place. Standards are designed to be more rigorous and operate at higher levels than other countries.
You can read about how these standards are created and maintained here: https://www.soilassociation.org/our-standards/how-are-organic-standards-set/
For Coco&Coir, as suppliers of coir compost to the farming industry, we are part of and need to be accountable in the farming supply chain. Our certification is based on Soil Association approval of our coir as an ingredient and material used in organic farming. This is known as an ‘approved input’ and gives organic farmers the assurance that using our products means they can certify their products as organic.
“Approved inputs can carry the Soil Association Approved logo. Manufacturers of these products are inspected annually, and products must be produced to the Soil Association organic standards for processors.” See: https://www.soilassociation.org/farmers-growers/technicalinformation/approved-inputs-for-organic-farms
You can check our licence AL30474 here: https://www.soilassociation.org/certification/find-a-licensee/organic-certificate-checker/