Certification at a Glance

HORTICERT certifies sustainable peat substitutes for hobby and professional substrates.
This page summarises who can be certified and what a HORTICERT certification implies.


Key Facts

WHO Gets Certified?

HORTICERT certification ensures the compliance of sustainability requirements across the entire supply chain of various peat substitutes. Any company involved in the supply chain, from raw material extraction to final substrate production, represents a potential system user of the HORTICERT certification system.

As supply chains often involve many different entities, HORTICERT developed a digital solution for tracing supply chains. The International Product Tracing (IPT) system HORTI-TRACE facilitates the seamless tracking of goods across international supply chains and enables the transfer of product-related sustainability data and GHG emission values. More information on HORTI-TRACE will soon be available on our website.

WHAT Gets Certified?

HORTICERT certifies sustainable peat substitutes for hobby and professional substrate mixes. To attain a HORTICERT certification, both the company as well as its peat substitutes must be certified. However, it is not mandatory to certify the entire quantity of produced peat substitutes.

Certified companies have the possibility to decide whether they want to certify the entire quantity of raw materials, substrate components, or substrates produced, or only a partial quantity. If only a partial quantity is certified, the mass balancing approach can be used. This allows companies to mix certified and non-certified materials during transport, storage and production. However, no more goods than were actually certified may be declared as sustainable. For example, a growing media mixing plant therefore only has to ensure that it has enough certified materials available for the substrate mix, which is to be declared as HORTICERT-certified according to the mass balance.

Currently, wood fiber, bark humus, green waste compost and coco-based peat substitutes can be certified under HORTICERT. In the long term, HORTICERT will be applicable for all volume-forming peat substitutes (≥ 5 vol%) available on the market. 

Further Criteria

A substrate mix needs to incorporate at least 25% HORTICERT-certified components to display the HORTICERT Logos and Claims. As HORTICERT exclusively certifies peat substitutes and not peat itself, only 100% peat-free substrates can obtain a 100% HORTICERT certification.

In addition, substrate mixes for the hobby sector may not contain more than 30% peat, while professional substrates are limited to a maximum of 70% peat. Depending on political objectives and market developments, HORTICERT reserves the right to further reduce the maximum peat content in the future.