Sustainability certification program participation growing
By Treena Hein
Certification programs that closely examine energy efficiency, water use, fertilizer input, waste processing and more are increasing in number in Canada and the US – and so is the number of greenhouse operations getting certified.
Energy Edge presents a round-up of these programs below.
- Netherlands-based MPS began certifying in 1995 and is now active in more than 50 countries, with 3,500 participants worldwide. Since 2010, MPS started concentrating on the North American market and currently has 35 MPS-ABC participants here, two of which are located in Canada.
- Oregon-based Food Alliance (FA) has offered a ‘Nursery and Greenhouse Standard’ since May 2012. This FA program is available across North America. Since it was launched in May, one nursery operation in Oregon has completed inspection and its certification is pending. None in Canada so far.
- SCS, a global third-party certifier of sustainability and agricultural product quality claims, offers two certification options: Veriflora and ‘Certified Greenhouse Farmers (CGF). There are three CGF certified growers in Canada, one Veriflora-certified Canadian cut flower handler and seven Veriflora-certified Canadian peat moss producers. There are currently 20 US-based SCS-certified ornamental plant producers and eight certified cut flower growers whose production is mostly from greenhouses.
Other sustainability programs
- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system in 2000, and it is being updated this year. Two US greenhouses have received LEED certification so far (a few other building complexes that contain a greenhouse are also certified), and three others are in the pipeline.
- In 2000, St. Laurent, QC-based Sierra Flower Trading launched an umbrella marketing program called ‘Sierra Eco’ for cut flowers. Florist or growers in the US and Canada who have been certified by one or more of certifiers Veriflora, Fair Trade, FlorVerde or Rainforest Alliance can register for ‘Sierra Eco.’ At present, there are no ‘Sierra Eco’ greenhouse operations in Canada, but there are eight florists.
Discover more, including interviews with Canadian greenhouse operator participants in these programs, in an Energy Edge exclusive feature story to be published in the near future.