First research greenhouse joins MPS-ABC
May 21, 2013, Durham, New Hampshire — The Macfarlane Greenhouse facility
of the University of New Hampshire has become the first research
greenhouse to receive MPS-ABC certification.
May 21, 2013, Durham, New Hampshire — The Macfarlane Greenhouse facility of the University of New Hampshire has become the first research greenhouse to receive MPS-ABC certification.
“Becoming certified is simply the right thing to do,” says David Goudreault, manager of the Macfarlane Greenhouse facility.
He is referring to the rigorous process by which MPS evaluates the energy, water, fertilizer and crop protection agents usage and waste management (including CO2) to designate a scorecard-based certification.
Since the Macfarlane Greenhouse Facility is not a commercial enterprise, MPS is adjusting its evaluation criteria for the university.
John Wraith, dean of COLSA (College of Life Sciences and Agriculture) at UNH and director of NHAES (New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station), has been strongly supportive of the pursuit for the MPS certification and is very appreciative of the program's adaptability.
FIRST IN THE WORLD
“To our knowledge, the MacFarlane Greenhouse facility is the first teaching and research greenhouse in the world to seek this kind of certification, and MPS is going out of its way to figure out how to accommodate us within their system,” says Wraith.
COLSA alumnus Doug Cole of D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, NH, was the first U.S. grower to achieve MPS-ABC certification and was instrumental in putting the company and university in touch.
Almost a year into the certification process, the Macfarlane Greenhouse Facility is currently recognized as an MPS Participant.
After a full year of participation they will be given a score based on verification of its weekly reporting program.
IMPROVING OVERALL EFFICIENCY
“Over the years we’ve done quite a bit to improve the greenhouses’ overall efficiency, but we really don’t have any data that show the effects of what we’ve done. A program like MPS give us an environmental record that we can analyze and compare to what other growers in the MPS system are doing,” says Goudreault.
“Not only is MPS evaluating us quarterly, separate companies associated with MPS will send auditors in on an annual basis to give us extraordinary insight into what improvements can be made for us to become an even more sustainable facility.”
MPS welcomes grower inquires in North America. Contact west coast coordinator Charlotte Smit at 805-524-9685 (email@example.com), or east coast coordinator John McCaslin at 828-458-7231 (firstname.lastname@example.org).