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Suttons is committed to conducting its business in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.

For over 200 years, Suttons has built a reputation for supplying the highest quality products with customers expecting suppliers to be ethically sourced and sustainable.

Climate change is finally at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Awareness is rising across the globe and momentum is still building. There is still time to change course but there is no doubt that the time to act is now. Increasingly, individuals and companies want to make changes in their own lives and businesses but are not always clear what actions they can take to make a real difference.

Our Sustainability Journey

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we're committed to doing our bit for the planet. We've made some brilliant strides towards where we'd like to be, and we're getting greener, but there are still many fantastic opportunities to improve. Here are a few ways we've improved over the last few years.

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Spring 2019
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Spring 2020
Spring 2024

Peat Free

Why being peat-free matters

Peat has been much used in horticulture because of its ability to hold water and retain nutrients but the extraction of peat has taken its toll.

Peat bogs are very much the unsung heroes of our natural world. They act as a carbon store, which when extracted and broken down in our gardens releases CO2 which could otherwise have been locked up for tens of thousands of years. They’re also a great habitat for wildlife, play an active role in water management, and even preserve things well for archaeology!

However, peat bog mass is being extracted 60 times faster than it’s being laid down… Which is clearly unsustainable.

Suttons home grown plants are 100% peat-free

“We’ve switched to a 100% peat-free compost in our own nursery in Devon and are proud to be one of the first commercial growers to have achieved this milestone. This means that next year we’ll be growing close to 1 million plants in peat-free compost.”

“In addition, we’ve also worked closely with our growing partners to remove peat from all our value and garden ready flower plug plants.”

“So, this year 95% of the compost used to grow our plants will be peat-free and we’re talking to our partners to remove that final 5% as soon as possible.”

How you can make a difference

You can help by buying peat-free compost for use in your own garden or allotment, and by encouraging retailers and the Government in their efforts to phase out the use of peat in gardening products. The best place to start is with our Grochar seed compost. Grochar was inspired by 2000 -year old Amazonian Indians who used charred plant matter to enrich their soil! This compost is 100% peat free so a great way to instantly positively impact the environment and not compromise on quality.

Seeds for Bees

Our Pollinators and Predators collection includes seeds for bees and other beneficial insects. By planting seeds that encourage pollinators such as bees and other insects to your garden, you can gain a tiny gardening team to do your pest control and pollination, all with the added benefit of supporting British native wildlife by providing habits and food sources.

The natural behaviours of pollinators and predators will increase your crop productivity and reduce insect pest numbers. Companion planting was widely used centuries ago in cottage gardens across Britain, but has since declined, along with the numbers of pollinators and predators. This new collection of seeds for bees and other pollinators will help you to encourage biodiversity in your garden or allotment.

You’ll find seeds for bumblebees, honeybees, ladybirds, hoverflies and lace wings, and they all help to do their bit for your garden. Whether you’re keen to support bees, or protect your veg and flowers from pests, our Predators and Pollinators range has a variety that’s beneficial to your ecosystem.

Poly Wraps

To reduce plastic waste, we’ve moved to “naked” or paper wraps on our catalogue mailings. This removes the need for us to enclose our catalogues in plastic wraps – something which, until now, has been necessary to ensure your catalogue arrives undamaged.

Genetically Modified Seeds

Suttons only work with breeder partners and suppliers that follow classical breeding methods. We work to current government legislation that prevents importing or producing seeds that contain unauthorised GMOs. As such, we only source and supply 'conventional seed' - that is, seed produced to relevant certification standards where appropriate, that is destined for sowing, and has not been genetically modified.