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
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.
taking to be sustainable
(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”.
certification – on target 2013!
Provincial is also in the process of
undertaking Environmental Management certification under ISO 14001.
accreditation (Lisa Roberts)
NGIA Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) (Lisa Roberts)
energy powers most of our operations
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.
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.
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.
woodfire and heat pump heating for hot water and office
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
Energy efficient buildings
We 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.
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.
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.
water source and rain water harvesting
Our 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
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
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
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
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.
friendly ‘green’ landscape design
principles of permaculture, water wise gardening and water sensitive urban
and rehabilitation projects and wetlands creation
We improve air, soil
and air quality, increase biodiversity and maintain ecosystems.
create low impact, site and climate appropriate, water wise, easy care spaces.
– 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
our response to climate change improves environments for
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
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
- ‘give back’ by engaging in ‘no
charge’ community plant supply and planting projects for schools and community
our commitment to being carbon neutral (or positive!)
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.