Green Britain: Co-op to sell only peat-free compost to cut emissions and preserve habitats

The move supports the store group’s environmental pledges to cut GHG emissions to combat the climate crisis and sees the sale of peat-based compost completely banned from its stores. Co-op is working with Westland – which has undertaken £35m of investment to develop a specially formulated product – to encourage a culture of more sustainable gardening and is rolling-out the New Horizon peat-free compost to over 1,100 of its food stores and forecourts which sell compost in time for spring.

Co-op halved its greenhouse gas emissions in the ten years from 2006, and has announced its commitment to reducing its GHG emissions in line with climate science.

This includes reducing emissions in its business by a further 50 per cent between 2016 - 2025. The retailer has introduced measures including sourcing only 100 per cent renewable electricity for all Co-op stores, offices and funeral homes.

Could the peat-free move be a watershed encouraging other supermarket groups. 

Nicky O’Malley, head of corporate partnerships at RSPB wildlife charity and campaigner, said: “It’s great to see the Co-op removing peat from all the composts it sells and leading the way to better gardening.  

“Peatlands are special places for plants and birds and need this kind of protection from exploitation. 

We look forward to continuing to support Co-op with their ambitious environmental commitments to combat the climate and biodiversity crises.”

Martin Spencer, Co-op’s buyer for home and leisure, added: “We want to make it easier for our Members and customers to make small changes in their everyday lives which, together, add up to making a big difference to our environment. 

“We continue to look for new and collaborative ways of working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which is imperative if we are to have a healthy, sustainable natural environment to pass on to future generations.”

New Horizon peat-free compost to be sold at over 1,100 Co-op stores, with product available from March. This includes New Horizon peat-free Tomato planter, and peat-free compost in 20L and 50L pack sizes.

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