Community & Sustainability

Although there is always more to be done, at Ruxley Manor we are making a conscious effort to reduce our negative impact on the environment and, where possible, support the local community around us who have supported us since opening the centre in 1964. Below is some more information about everything we are doing to give back.

LOCAL COMMUNITY

Here at Ruxley, we want to give back to the local community, that’s why we’ve decided to push our efforts further and give even more back. We want to see the community blossom and to do that we’ve accumulated a list of projects that we can undertake to help make this possible. Over the next few years we want to develop our projects into the community and watch them flourish. So keep your eyes on our website and social media to stay up to date with us and what we’re doing to help the community.

Sustainability

Sustainability is more than just an environmental issue, here at Ruxley we are integrating sustainability into the way we operate as the future is worth investing in. Sustainability will positively effect everyone and everything on our planet, so we’re doing what we can to help make that happen.

PLASTIC

Although we are constantly making the conscience effort to eliminate plastic from our store, we still have a long way to go until we completely eliminate single use plastics at Ruxley Manor. But we are proud of what we have achieved so far.

In an effort to reduce our impact on the environment we will no longer be offering plastic bags at Ruxley Manor’s till points. Whilst our new, recyclable paper bags are on their way to us we will be using previous event bags throughout the centre to ensure these do not go to waste. We will be charging 5p per bag in an effort to encourage our customers to reuse bags they already own. Recent reports have indicated that general supermarket plastic bag use has been reduced by 90% following the introduction of the charge, meaning less bags are being produced and wasted overall. Although ambitious we would love, with your help, to reach a similar number. Although we are working hard to reduce our single-use plastics we are aware that there is still a lot across the business – we are actively working internally, with our suppliers and supply chain and as an industry to find ways to continually reduce this and find more sustainable alternatives.
James Evans Managing Director
James Evans
Managing Director

THE STORE

We’re making conscious efforts across the shop floor to also reduce plastic.

  • In our Outdoor Plants department they favour suppliers who provide their stock on recyclable packaging.
  • In our Lifestyle department we no longer sell disposable plastic straws, we now stock a range of reusable straws (not all sold singly) made from different materials, such as metal and paper. Soon a majority of the cards on sale in Lifestyle will be brought in and sold without cello wrap.

THE RESTAURANT

Our Mulberry Tree restaurant is making the conscious effort to eliminate the use of plastic. The Mulberry Tree has made a bold move to try and minimise the amount of single use plastic we have within the restaurant.

  • We have changed as many of our drinks to recyclable glass bottles as possible.
  • We have stopped as many of the condiment sachets as we can and now have a pump dispenser for our tomato ketchup and brown sauce.
  • All the straws in the restaurant are now biodegradable

SOLAR PANELS

November 2015 saw the installation of 723 solar panels which generate around 153,637.50 KWH, saving around 27.7% of previous grid usage. (It is also the equivalent of electricity needed for an electric car to travel 451,875 miles each year!)

BIOMASS BOILER/AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP

In 2013 a new biomass boiler was installed on site which allows us to turn our unwanted pallets and timber into energy that now supplies heat and hot water to both the Food Hall and The Mulberry Tree Restaurant. An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) has been installed to assist in heating the covered areas of the site, the offices and Grace’s Day Nursery – supported by central heating systems only when necessary. The ASHP works by absorbing heat from the outside air and transfers that heat into our buildings across the site.

THE OFFICES

Our marketing team is cutting down on the plastics that they use on a daily basis. By the end of summer they’re aiming to transition from laminated and plastic based signage to recyclable options, which will save over 1200kg of single use plastics over the course of each year. We’re beginning to externally print our re-occurring product and seasonal signage, the results of printing our signage this way would mean our marketing department would use less paper and plastic based consumables.

GENERAL WASTE

Currently 83% of general waste is recycled with the help and support from a local recycling company, minimising the wastage that gets sent to landfills. All of our green waste is composted in one of our two composting units that are on site.

WOOD

80% of wood is recycled by either being sent to our local recycling depot, most wooden pallets are returned to our suppliers to re-use and any excess or waste timber is used in our Biomass Heater to provide heat to The Mulberry Tree Restaurant and the Food Hall.

CARDBOARD

With the investment of a cardboard compacting machine in 2008 we are now able to recycle 93% of our cardboard waste. All of our cardboard (around 375 tonnes a year) is baled in our compactor and sent to a Kentish paper mill for recycling.

A FEW EXTRAS

Ruxley Manor recognises that the use of peat in growing media has a limited future; we feel it is essential to offer a peat-free option to limit the exploitation of new peat bogs. We are therefore working to promote the sale of reduced peat products in line with the current government guidelines. Our aim is to continue to reduce the amount of peat used in the making of compost and continue to promote the use of peat-free compost throughout the center.

We take an active role in encouraging our customers to recycle water in their gardens by offering a range of water-saving water butts. 

Currently we are working with suppliers to introduce non-black pots in our outdoor plants department which are kerbside recyclable, black pots are currently non recyclable due to the carbon pigment they are made with. Working with our local councils we are making sure that our plant pots are kerbside recyclable and therefore are not a single use plastic within our business.

At present Ruxley Manor’s aim is to recycle as much as possible and to continue to reduce the amount that is sent to land fill sites.