Broad coalition for acceleration reduction environmental impact potting soil & growing media

18 november 2022

On 18 November 2022, a broad coalition of parties signed a covenant with far-reaching objectives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of potting soil and substrates. The coalition consists of 15 parties from the business community, the Dutch government, knowledge organisations and NGOs. The parties have agreed to accelerate the use of renewable raw materials, re-use of substrates and responsible peat extraction. It has also been agreed that an information campaign will be launched towards consumers about the raw materials used and the environmental impact of potting soil.

The potting soil and substrate sector has the sustainability of products for the horticulture and consumer market prominently on its agenda. Prompted by a widely supported motion in the Dutch 'Tweede Kamer' (Boswijk - Bromet July 2021), which relates to (a study into) the reduction of peat in potting soil, the parties have now agreed to accelerate this transition to making growing media more sustainable.

To this end, parties under the chairmanship of Arne Weverling have agreed on ambitious objectives. These objectives have been further specified for 2025, 2030 and 2050.

Photographer: Rolf van Koppen

By 2025, the objective is to achieve a greater use of renewable raw materials (on average 35% for professional use, 60% for consumer market) and to double the use of compost to 600,000 m3. It has also been agreed to only use 100% responsibly extracted peat for peat raw materials (RPP label or equivalent).

For 2030, the objective is to further increase the percentage of renewable raw materials. For the consumer market, the goal is to use at least 85% renewable raw materials. For the professional market, independent research into the availability and environmental impact of raw materials in 2023 will have to provide insight and substantiation for a new target for 2030. 

For 2050, the objective is to only use growing media that do not have a negative environmental impact in the chain and are CO2-neutral. The percentage of renewable raw materials must then be at least 90% of the total chain volume.

Marco Zevenhoven, operational director RHP:
“The sector is making enormous efforts to become more sustainable and to make more and more use of new growing media. It is important that this is done while maintaining the quality and safety of the products. The RHP quality mark ensures this quality and our research team does independent research into renewable raw materials.”

For the full press release and covenant see the website of the Dutch Association of Potting Soil and Substrate Producers (Vereniging Potgrond- en Substraatfabrikanten Nederland):

Photographer: Rolf van Koppen

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