Provincial Plants and Landscapes home


our positive contribution to the environment

our eco – ethos

Climate change affects us all. Provincial strive to minimise our environmental footprint and understand the risks and opportunities posed by climate change.

The health of our environment is affected by the way we manage our landscapes. Provincial are committed to improving our air, soil and water quality and increasing biodiversity and habitat by propagating and planting appropriate species in appropriate ways and by acting consciously to choose products and services that are eco friendly.

We restore unhealthy ecosystems back to their full potential. We’ve grown and planted literally millions of plants that have contributed to improving the health of wetlands, rivers, creeks and streams, grasslands, bushland, rural and coastal landscapes, eroded and denuded sites.

Provincial’s founders have long been advocates for the environment. We do the work we do because we love it and because it is essential that it is done.

making changes in our own back yard

Tangible efforts were made at our SE NSW premises starting in 2001 to make a real difference in our own back yard (recycling, waste minimization and re-use, solar hot water and solar power, tank water and dams, for example). 

We’ve stepped up the pace since 2007 - and we're certified carbon neutral and made many simple changes right across our organisation (such as changing light bulbs and manual weeding and organic weed control rather than using poisons) and commenced an intensive research effort into sustainable technologies and water saving measures to reduce our contribution to global warming.

our team’s response to our environmental ethos

Provincial’s team are empowered by our environmental ethos and are proud to be involved with the valuable contribution we make to creating and remodeling environments.  Knowing that we act ethically and consciously in our general business dealings attracts quality people to our organisation and sets up the framework for how staff conduct themselves.  Likeminded people working together to create better outcomes is very powerful. 

steps we’re taking to be sustainable

  • Carbon neutral (Carbon positive accreditation underway!)

The Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre has undertaken an emissions and energy audit and found that we are “in a strong carbon positive position”. 

  • ISO 14001 certification – on target 2013!

Provincial is also in the process of undertaking Environmental Management certification under ISO 14001.

  • HIA GreenSmart accreditation (Lisa Roberts)

  • NGIA Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) (Lisa Roberts)

  • Renewable energy powers most of our operations

Our Wandella nursery site is completely off the grid and uses renewable energy totally to power our office, potting sheds, nursery irrigation units and will fully power our commercial aquaponics system once operational.  We have 6KW of solar installed.

Our Tanja office uses a 5KW solar system and feeds back to the grid.

Our Pialligo nursery uses Green Power and has very minimal energy requirements.  We are in negotiation with Energy Options to install a 10 KW solar system at Pialligo to feed back to the grid in 2013.  Advice to date states this system will return $8000 – $10000 per annum.

  • Solar, woodfire and heat pump heating for hot water and office

Wandella has solar hot water; Tanja utilises an energy efficient heat pump for hot water; a wood fired stove heats hot water at Wandella in winter; Gas is used partially for heating and cooking at Wandella.
  • Choosing energy efficient office options

We use energy efficient light bulbs; Turning off lights when not in a room; turning off electrical appliances rather than leaving them on standby; Program equipment to power down after a certain period of inactivity; We choose LED lights on our projects.

  • Energy efficient buildings

energy efficient buildingWe are always looking at ways to improve on our existing structures by applying passive solar design principles to impact on indoor and outdoor comfort; Most of the built structures at Wandella have significant thermal mass to moderate temperature extremes; All our roofs have been heavily insulated to assist with temperature control; We’ve sealed gaps in doors and window frames to reduce heat loss and gain; Ceiling fans have been installed at Wandella and Tanja; Windows are opened for cross ventilation; Curtains and blinds closed at night in winter helps retain heat and keep heat out when drawn in summer.

Pialligo nursery We’ve built shade structures around buildings to keep the building envelope cool; Erection of pergola’s with shade cloth and deciduous vines around the Wandella office and nursery potting areas keep things cooler in summer and allow sun through in winter; Water features positioned under or near windows in the path of prevailing breeze facilitate indoor cooling; We’ve integrated shade into our landscape to create cool zones and mini oasis; We have utilised reconstituted sandstone pavers for hard surfaces around buildings as they keep cool and do not reflect heat onto buildings; Next is the installation of green roofs and green walls.

  • Vehicles and transport

We are looking at ways to improve our vehicle fleet management including creating our own bio fuels to fuel our diesel vehicles and eventual conversion to electric vehicles that can be charged by our solar systems!; Efficient transportation strategies for supplies and outgoing order deliveries include making less trips with larger loads, always travelling with full loads, placing supply orders for all 3 offices at once and sourcing products locally where possible; We have purchased a staff vehicle for car pooling to and from Wandella; We are looking into training for staff into driving for efficiency as careful driving can reduce fuel consumption by 30% (and will reduce other expenses, emissions and driver stress!); Vehicles are maintained and serviced regularly; Fuel is not stored in containers nor remains in pumps or tools for more than 4 weeks.      

  • Alternative water source and rain water harvesting 

tankOur Wandella site is completely independent of mains water supply and uses tank and dam water.  We have capacity to harvest and store 3 million litres of water which is in excess of our annual requirements and will  continue to add water tanks; Plumbing of all roof areas is now complete and all pumping to the main tank is done via an electric pump that runs off solar.

Our new tiered nursery sections have been designed to capture water runoff into channels and water will be recycled back up to the top the tiers. We utilise natural features to control runoff from our sites; 1/3 of our Pialligo nursery is watered from a dam.  Our Tanja site also operates from tank and dam water. With 2000m2 of catchment from roofs and our dam we are able to harvest 2000 litres per mm of rain at Wandella (this will increase to 3000 litres once the Aquaponics roof is completed) and 500 litres per mm at Tanja.

  • We practice efficient watering practices and water use minimisation practices are in place

Hand watering is limited and only done by experienced staff; Water-efficient trigger nozzle to all hoses used for irrigation;  All fitted taps and hoses are inspected regularly to ensure no leaks are occurring; We avoid overhead watering during the middle of the day where possible; We water deeply and less often to conserve water; We utilise pot space efficiently to cut down on water lost between plant; We practice hydrozoning – grouping similar pot sizes and plant varieties with similar watering needs grouped together; We use the natural environment to provide shade (tree canopies) for shade loving plants and to reduce water requirements in summer; Shade structures are employed in summer to reduce water requirements.

ponds We have created ponds to hold our wetland plants rather than water daily in the nursery; Utilise brooms instead of water for cleaning of hard surfaces; We educate and train staff in water efficient behavior;  We undertake research of water efficient behaviours and infrastructure; We don’t waste potable water down the toilet – Wandella has a composting toilet and Tanja uses dam water saving litres of potable water per flush.

  • We practice efficiency with our irrigation systems

We position sprinklers to prevent wasteful over spraying onto buildings, roads and footpaths; We adjust irrigation schedules as required to take into account daily environmental variations; We utilise a monitoring program to help improve irrigation efficiency; Our irrigation systems allow for the application of water at different rates to different areas of the nursery.

  • We monitor our water use closely

Monitor water conservation measures and water use efficiency within the nursery daily; We check for system leaks by taking water meter readings during periods of no water use (Pialligo); We monitor the nurseries water consumption throughout the year; We check for leaking, clogged or worn pipes, hoses, taps or nozzles.

  • Recycling systems, composting and use of nursery bi-products, waste minimisation, use of eco friendly products

Bi products from the nurseries are used to create worm farms and organic vegie gardens and orchards for staff and family; We practice composting; We recycle paper products for worm farms; Recycled office and stationery products are used on all available occasions in all 3 offices; Double sided printing or multiple pages per page is undertaken whenever possible with black ink set to default; We’re researching vegetable based printer cartridges; We’re researching the potential of biodegradable trays.

  • We are pesticide free and chemical free

We prefer to weed manually; We use natural alternatives such as honey in preference to rooting hormone; We practice nursery weed control using vinegar to clean weed mat and trays; We practice companion planting; We make our own organic soaks for pest control if required; Cleaning products for the office and nursery are environmentally conscious.

  • Appropriate plant types

The types of plants we grow contribute directly to environmental restoration and carbon sequestration projects.  Our plants are primarily drought tolerant and are sun and frost hardened to ensure they settle into a site well.  We also proudly support Flora for Fauna.

  • Eco friendly ‘green’ landscape design

Design incorporates principles of permaculture, water wise gardening and water sensitive urban design.

  • Revegetation and rehabilitation projects and wetlands creation

We improve air, soil and air quality, increase biodiversity and maintain ecosystems.

  • Xeriscape professionals

We create low impact, site and climate appropriate, water wise, easy care spaces.

  • No – charge contributions of plants and services annually

Every year we donate hundreds of plants and our services that ‘give back’ to the community, and we sponsor industry events relating to environment, sustainability and climate change.

 

our response to climate change improves environments for you

Our commitment to the environment is evident in the very nature of the products and services we provide, and our obvious actions to become carbon neutral, reduce re-use and recycle and be chemical free.

Every year we:

  • make donations of plants to groups for National Tree Day via Landcare and Planet Ark.
  • donate excess and mature stock to NPWS, CMA, Landcare, Coastcare schools and community groups for revegetation projects
  • participate in Natural Heritage Trust community projects such as the Narira Creek revegetation, including running environmental education sessions for the local primary school children
  • sponsor educational events such as the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (ACT) forum on ‘climate change’ and the Master Builders Association forum on ‘Life, Building and Sustainability’
  • ‘give back’ by engaging in ‘no charge’ community plant supply and planting projects for schools and community groups.

our commitment to being carbon neutral (or positive!)

Climate change affects us all. Provincial is committed to minimising our environmental footprint and understanding the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. We have begun the process of changing our behaviours where necessary, monitoring and reviewing our processes and practices and  have been certified carbon neutral.

The health of our environment is effected by the way we manage our landscapes.  Provincial is committed to improving our soil, water and air quality, creating habitat, increasing biodiversity and improving ecosystems. In just the past 2 years we’ve collected over 5 tonnes of native seed for revegetation projects and propagation and have planted more than 2 million plants.


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canberra
Corner Pialligo + Fairbairn Av
Pialligo   ACT   2609
t 02  6262  6456     |       f 02  6262 6006
e
p PO  Box  4560  Kingston  ACT  2604

se nsw
13148 Princes Hwy
Brogo  NSW  2550
t 02 6492 7242   |    f 02 6492 7121
p PO Box 799 Bega NSW 2550
abn 91 109 945 146

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