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As the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies is committed to educating about the importance of soil health, and delivering environmentally-friendly practices, products and sustainable solutions


We have been helping people have success with their gardens since 1865 and as part of that we make it our priority to be responsible and care for our environment

We are working to improve our sustainable practices all the time and here are some of our current targets and practices – this is a journey and we will update this policy ongoing

Join the conversation online with #sustainabledobbies


Terra Carta

We are proud supporters of #terracarta from HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative.
The Terra Carta provides a road map to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future



We are leading the way in the garden centre sector, having started our peat-free mission in 2018

We promote peat-free in our stores, to our 160k social media followers and 600k members

 Our aim is to be 100% peat-free during 2021 in relation to bagged compost

We offer a full range of peat-free products

Our own-brand, peat-free compost is one of our best sellers

Dobbies has a pricing policy that makes peat-free alternatives attractive for customers

Many of our suppliers are members of the Growing Media Association (GMA), a body that works closely 
with DEFRA and is striving to meet the Government’s aim of continuing to reduce peat usage

We are continually looking for peat-free alternatives that still provide outstanding growing performance


Garden products

We will offer organic alternatives in all categories of chemicals and fertilisers, where they are available, and where we are confident that they produce good results

We promote mulching, composting, water conservation and other sustainable gardening methods

We offer biochar products from Carbon Gold – Carbon Gold Biochar Fertiliser and Biochar Soil Improver – and we were the first leading garden centre to stock these products



We have worked with our nursery suppliers to produce a roadmap towards peat free plants with a reduction in peat use each year

We aim to source 80% from UK nurseries

We promote British plants in order to reduce plant miles

We promote wildlife friendly plants, hedging and plants for birds, bees and butterflies and have supported the Butterfly Conservation with their spring gardening campaign



We monitor and manage water use at our garden centres

At some stores, we harvest rainwater for watering of the plant stock

We share information with customers on how to water their plants in a responsible way

We encourage sustainable watering methods in our press releases and social media activity


Pots & Trays

We offer a customer pot and tray return service, that ensures they do not end up in landfill

We are committed to increasing recyclable plant pots and reducing the use of single use plastics

We are moving away from black pots as these are not able to be collected kerbside for recycling

We offer a range of houseplants in coir pots which have been very popular in stores and online



We collaborate with specialist waste management experts to improve our on-site recycling and diversion from landfill

We recycle all wood, metal, plastics, cardboard and polyethene

A garden centre first, are launching compost bag recycling in 10 of our stores, in partnership with Evergreen Garden Products Ltd.

We have launched a plastic pot recycling scheme in partnership with Elho


FSC timber and outdoor living

It is 100% FSC wood in our own brand outdoor furniture ranges

All our wooden outdoor furniture products have been sustainably sourced and hold legal certification for origin of source

We are working to drive out single use plastic in our protective packaging, replacing with suitable materials that can be recycled

Where possible, we use a mix of recycled and non-recycled resin in our resin wicker products

We are always researching more eco-friendly material combinations across fabrics and hard materials


Pest and weed control

We offer a safer range of pest control products, to reduce the impact on beneficial garden insects and wildlife

We do not stock weedkillers that contain glyphosate or slug killers that contain metaldehyde – we were the first in the market to remove glyphosate-based weedkillers

Rodenticides have been delisted


Carrier Bags

We only offer recyclable carrier bags

Donations from the purchase of bags are made to our National Charity Partner, Teenage Cancer Trust


Little Seedlings

Little Seedling events take place monthly in-store

For more information visit Little Seedlings


Our suppliers

We work with our supply chain to reduce environmental impact and improve ethical behaviours

We make it our responsibility to assess our suppliers and make sure they’re introducing best practices - if they’re not as green as they could be, we work with them to bring them in line with our sustainability roadmap

We have a 60% reduction in supplier road miles through our supply chain solution with Wincanton

We have recyclable packaging targets set for all suppliers; bird food is already 100%

We are aiming for 100% Sedex membership by FY22

We use environmentally-friendly packaging on all items delivered to customers


Home and gifting

100% of our own brand production in spa, textiles and décor is undertaken in Smeta or BSCI audited factories

40% of our own brand candles and room fragrance, and 50% of our textiles are manufactured in UK to reduce carbon footprint

We have increased our range growth with brands such as L’Occitane and Treat Republic who champion sustainability and ethical manufacturing

We are increasing the range of soy and natural wax candles from 9% to 60% of the range

In FY21 we will eliminate single use plastic and actively work with suppliers to reduce packaging by at least 25%


Pet and birdcare

We have transferred 100% of Dobbies own-label bird food into  recyclable packaging = 50,000 bags per annum

We have introduced sustainable products covering 5% of ranged lines

New brands have been introduced that use plant-based and ethically sourced materials and ingredients


Our stores and offices

We keep our daily energy use to a minimum by lowering our energy requirements and, where possible, generating our own renewable energy

We have LED lighting in all stores

Biofuel currently provides 50% of our heating requirement. Biofuel heating is installed as standard in the most recent generation of new-build stores, providing 50% of heat requirement with corresponding reduction in natural gas use and CO2 emissions

We have an environmental management system that gives stores an individual target for reducing their energy and water use

Junk mail and non-sensitive paper waste is recycled. Shredded confidential paperwork is also recycled

Envelopes are reused where possible for internal use

Used electrical items are recycled in accordance with the WEEE

Print cartridges are recycled

Point of Sale is produced relative to the size of each centre to ensure that we do not print more than is necessary



Our restaurants offer healthy light snacks, low fat or fat free products as well as vegan and vegetarian options

We offer low salt options

We endeavour to cater for all food allergies and preferences

We do not offer straws

All takeaway products are fully recyclable

We have both compostable takeaway cups and reusable cups - we offer 25p off all refills

Used fat is collected for recycling


Supporting charities and communities

Our National Charity Partner is Teenage Cancer Trust and we have donated over £1m to this amazing cause

We supply gardening content for the Stroke Association’s My Stroke Guide, and collaborate on their gardening campaigns

We are the official partner for Butterfly Conservation’s Nurture for Nature campaign 2021

 For more info about the charities we support, click here

We have partnered with Too Good To Go to minimise food waste

We have launched Helping Your Community Grow. For more info, click here