Sustainability

We are fortunate to work in one of our country’s most beautiful places, the Santa Barbara coast. We feel a special responsibility to guard this environment and minimize our impact.

Environmental Impact and MPS

We benchmark ourselves against thousands of other horticultural companies worldwide.  This allows us to compare fertilizer, water, fossil fuel, and pesticide use to our peers.  In the subset of orchid growers, we are graded at the head of the class for all categories and have achieved an ‘A’ for every year we have been part of MPS. To find out more about MPS, please go to http://www.my-mps.com/en/

We work hard to minimize our impact utilizing best practices and technology.

We are able to produce an orchid using:

The same amount of fertilizer used on a 6″x 6″ of grass.

The same amount of water used in a 5 minute shower.

Green Technology

In order to achieve this low impact, we have invested in new, effective technologies.

Biobest Sustainable Crop Management

Instead of pesticides, we introduce naturally occurring predators to keep the pest population in check, making for a cleaner environment and a healthier plant.

Priva Climate Computers

Keeping a tight rein on our greenhouse climate results in healthier plants and reduces inputs of pesticides, water and fossil fuels.

Vitotherm CO2 Capture Technology

‘Waste’ exhaust from our boilers is captured, cooled and injected into the greenhouse as pure CO2. This increases photosynthesis by 10-15% spurring plant growth and re-capturing carbon in the plant itself to reduce environmental impact.

Svensson Energy

Automated curtains have been installed in our greenhouses to retain heat at night and to minimize natural gas use.

Automation equipment

Automation equipment from Van Zaal, JavoSystem USA, and Trade & Service of CA maximizes productivity leading to fewer inputs per plant and provides a safer, more comfortable work environment for our employees.

Netafim

High efficiency sprinkler and drip irrigation ensures minimal water usage.

MPS Sustainability Rating

MPS is honored to work with Westerlay Orchids since 2011 on the Sustainability Certification. As a frontrunner in North America Westerlay Orchids has early acknowledged that indepent certification and benchmarking are instruments which they can use to improve the 3 P’s in Sustainability. Planet which reflects in the MPS ABC Sustainability Certification / People which reflects in MP-GAP and Profit by using the management data and results of the audits to further improve internal processes and reduce usage of Crop Protection Agents and Fertilizers. Below a short description of MPS and the certificates:

MPS

MPS develops and manages sustainability certificates for the international flowers and ornamentals industry and conducts certification through its sister organisation MPS-ECAS. The MPS-ABC certificate is recognized around the world as the international standard. While based in the Netherlands, MPS is active in 46 countries. In total, more than 3,000 growers participate in MPS-ABC around the world (4,300 production locations). In North America 76 growers are currently participating in MPS-ABC.

MPS ABC

MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification program evaluates a company’s performance in five sustainable categories, including use of crop protection agents, fertilizers, energy, water, and recycling. Participants in the program receive benchmark data and feedback on their individual performance in these categories four times per year. The MPS-ABC certification focuses on continuous improvement and indicates that a grower is a sustainability leader in their field.

MPS-GAP

MPS-GAP is the next step on to road to sustainability. The four keywords are Environment; Traceability; Safety & Hygiene. The list of requirements consist of, but is not limited to, company procedures; storage locations; protective clothing; evacuation plan; first aid boxes; evacuation area; personal hygiene; waste management (reduction); water management; maintenance of equipment; complaint registration; recall procedure etc.

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