Parker's and the Planet

Our ‘Parker’s and the Planet’ initiative is the natural need to care for the environment in every way possible.

At Parker’s Garden Company we are deeply aware of our ongoing responsibilities and consider it a professional and customer courtesy to educate our team and customers alike in how to live and work sustainably.

We strive to employ best practice in all areas of sustainability; Environmental, Social and Economic, and  are proud to work for and with the local community.

We remain committed to learning more as we traverse this generational journey together.

Timber Policy

Parker’s Garden Company only use timber products that are obtained from well-managed and known forests which respect the communities and people that depend on them, whilst avoiding contributing to forest degradation or deforestation.

We use sustainable and responsible sources which come from a credible third-party certification scheme such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Current as well as future suppliers are expected to align with the standards of this policy and be required to prove full traceability on demand.

We will consistently engage with, and seek assurances from, those companies represented in our Garden Centre to ensure that they meet the criteria for the products we use.

Peat-Free Policy

Parker’s Garden Company are committed to using sustainable sources where possible, and we are working with suppliers to become a 100% peat-free organisation. We will help with the restoration of rapidly diminishing British peatlands by researching and trialing alternatives to peat, with a view to introducing them into the supply chain.

As of March 2023, peat-free compost made up over 70% of Parker’s Garden Company’s total range. We are making a concerted effort to promote peat-free products to customers and educate them on the benefits of the alternatives to peat.

We provide prominent, informative and interactive in-store signage for our peat-free growing media.  Our team will give the best advice to help customers transition to a sustainable peat-free alternative compost, which at present includes, wood fibre, composted bark, green waste, wool, bracken, rye, and maize grass.


It is incumbent on all of us to recycle as much of our waste as possible, and we have processes already in place to ensure that this is happening on a regular basis. For example, cardboard boxes used in the supply chain are offered to customers as needed or compacted before being sent to a recycling plant.  The same can be said for our clear plastic waste which is also compacted onsite and sent to a recycling plant.

We use a local environmental waste management company which has a Duty of Care written into the contract they have with us, meaning that any excess waste collected by them is disposed of in a controlled manner and recycled where possible.

We continue to update our signage across our Garden Centre to reflect the need for customers to consider looking at alternatives to plastic-based products. As much as possible we are moving away from the traditional black plastic plant pot as it is not recyclable.

As you walk around the Garden Centre and plant area, you will see that many of our plant pots are now coloured (terracotta, green, grey, purple, blue and taupe) and are fully recyclable as a result. Those plants arrive to us on trolleys which are consistently reused.

Our brown bags for packaging plants and customer goods are degradable in landfill or in a compost heap but will take a little longer than usual owing to a ‘wet strength’ additive which prevents tearing if the contents are wet. They are also fully recyclable.


We have a strict maintenance schedule for all of our appliances, thus ensuring maximum uptime. Where possible, appliances are A rated for energy efficiency, and are all regularly cleaned to keep them working at an optimum level.

Bicycle racks are available for both our team and customers, to encourage an eco-friendlier way of travel to work and our Garden Centre.

Our team handbook makes clear reference to the need for protecting the environment, and it appeals to team members to make every effort within their sphere of control to minimise any adverse effects on the company and environment.

Indeed, team members are briefed at induction and periodically during their time with the company that even turning off lights or reducing heating levels by just a degree is of benefit.

Most lights in our Garden Centre are now LED which are energy efficient and better for the environment. Any that are found not to be are replaced with LED as needed.

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy comes from natural sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, ground heat pumps and biomass. It replaces old fashioned generating stations, motor fuel and heating boilers etc.

Renewable Energy now accounts for approximately 20% of the world’s needs. At Parker’s Garden Company we have;

  • Solar power – our south-facing solar panels are located on the roof at our Garden Centre.
  • As well as generating power for our Garden Centre, 100% of the hot water used at our Garden Centre is heated by the energy produced by our solar panels.
  • Our sister company, Parker’s Nurseries, have a large biomass boiler which produces large amounts of electricity providing hot water and power to heat the nursery and feed the grid.

Where possible, we continue to explore new ideas to reduce our reliance on dwindling resources from the earth.

Plant Health

The Plant Team at Parker’s Garden Company have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are only too happy to impart to our customers. Whether it’s potting advice that’s required, the ideal time to water, what time of the year certain varieties flower, which compost helps to get the best results or anything in between, you can be assured that our Plant Team will have the answer.

We ensure that our suppliers check any plants that are destined for us for signs of pests or disease, and our Plant Team will also monitor the health of our plants once on site on a daily basis.

Our plants carry a ‘Plant Passport’ which is an official label that tracks the movement of plants and certain regulated wood throughout Great Britain.

We offer a two-year guarantee on all hardy plants, and will replace or issue a credit for any hardy plant that fails to grow within that period, extreme and inclement weather notwithstanding.

Proof of purchase and original label must be provided, and some exclusions may apply.

Though we work with suppliers across England and Europe, our biggest plant supplier is Parker’s Nurseries, our sister company, located in Thorpe, thus cutting down on plant miles as a result.

As much as possible we minimise the use of weed killers and pesticides as part of our plant care regime, both for the health of our planet as well as our team and customers.

Sourcing of Food and Stock

We are rightly proud of the standard of our Coffee Shop and Restaurant offering, with at least 70% of the food served cooked freshly on the premises each day.

As much as possible, we use suppliers that provide locally grown food that is considered to be in-season. Not only is this beneficial to the local economy, but it ensures that the foods that are delivered to us are moved on a much smaller scale, are fresher as there is less distance for suppliers to travel, and the lack of single use plastic packaging for protection means there is less of a negative impact on the environment.

As much as possible, we seek to source local and sustainable products. We prefer bulk deliveries of shop stock as standard practice. Less deliveries = less fuel burned = less CO2 released into the atmosphere. When dealing with new or current suppliers, we are mindful of the need to engage with those who present a more sustainable offering. The pallets which most stock is delivered on are reused or repurposed where possible.

Environmental, Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Plants and Wildlife in the Garden

Parker’s Garden Company are committed to promoting the benefits of gardening, which can be enjoyed by all.

Studies by Essex University * have shown that gardening has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression whilst improving physical and mental health, self-esteem and general wellbeing.

The term ‘gardening’ can be used to encompass various basic tasks such as mowing the lawn, raking, weeding, planting flowers, vegetables or fruit and pruning. Not forgetting more complex horticultural tasks.

Some aspects are more physical than others, but all have obvious rewards.

A colourful, ‘living’ garden that has been created by your own hands will offer a true sense of achievement and self-worth, whilst also boosting fitness.

* Rogerson, M., Wood, C., Pretty, J., Schoenmakers, P., Bloomfield, D., & Barton, J. (2020). Regular Doses of Nature: The Efficacy of Green Exercise Interventions for Mental Wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,17(5),1526. doi:10.3390/ijerph1705152

Informative leaflets and signage that are easy to read and understand are placed all around the Garden Centre.

These promote the health benefits of houseplants, those used in the workplace and garden plants, as well as providing simple to follow instructions on how to care for them.

We are always looking for new, sustainable products and consistently encourage our customers to spend time in and around green spaces and wildlife. We are always happy to offer guidance and advice as required.

Water Usage

We encourage and educate our team and customers on conserving water.  Including ways in which efficient watering in the garden can be maximised.

Community Support

Parker’s Garden Company continue to take the lead with regard to community initiatives, and we have a long-standing relationship with schools, local projects and with Essex Police. We are proud to host their regular ‘Street Meets’ where customers have the opportunity to liaise with our local team of PCSO’s.

We also offer Work Experience placements to children schooled in the local area, with a view to introducing them to Horticulture and Nature as well as visiting local schools to deliver talks on the importance of plants, plant care and sustainability within the Horticulture industry more generally.

Throughout the year, we run events at the Garden Centre for both adults and children.

Whether it’s our popular Orchid Talks with renowned plant physiologists, Gin Tasting with local distilleries or our long-running and hugely popular ‘Bobby Bee’ children’s gardening club, there’s something for everyone!

Local schools benefit from our ‘Growing Together’ initiative, which encourages local children to explore the various aspects of horticulture.

We also work closely with our chosen charities of the year and local partners, and in addition, often donate to their various worthy causes.

The majority of our team live locally and therefore contribute heavily to the community spirit which exists within our organisation.


If you consider yourself environmentally savvy and have some great ideas on how we can continue to reduce our environmental impact, we’d love to hear from you. Please send an email to: [email protected]