Sustainability starts in the substrate

By certifying sustainable and climate-friendly peat substitutes, HORTICERT supports peat reduction and thus contributes to an environmentally friendly horticultural industry with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

April 2024

Coconut products are much more sustainable than their reputation suggests

Based on third-party verification, HORTICERT certification guarantees that ecological, social and economic sustainability requirements for peat substitutes are met. Studies and own calculations show that the emissions of coconut-based peat substitutes are significantly lower than those of peat. This means that coconut-based peat substitutes with HORTICERT certification represent a sustainable alternative to peat and play an essential role in achieving the goal of a largely peat-free substrate industry with reduced GHG emissions, as the following information shows.

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Peatland Protection is Climate Protection

Globally, peat is still the most widely used raw material for potting soils and growing media. However, peat extraction in drained peatlands is associated with high greenhouse gas emissions.

Peat is created by the accumulation non- or barely decomposed organic material in the absence of oxygen. This process occurs in intact, water-saturated peatlands. Intact peatlands bind six times more carbon in the soil than forests in the same area. Therefore, they are crucial for climate protection.

The certification system is developed and implemented by Meo Carbon Solutions GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), represented by the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).