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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.

Our pledge

  •  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.

Peat free compost

  • 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 90% peat free during 2021 and 100% during 2022 – we made this particular pledge in 2020
  • We offer peat free compost and reduced peat compost, with more peat free products launching in 2021
  • 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 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

Pots and 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


  • 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.

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

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

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

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%

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
  • We have partnered with Too Good To Go to minimise food waste
  • We will be launching a new community campaign soon
  • For more information on how we are supporting local charities and initiatives, visit Dobbies in the community

Little Seedlings

  • We will be launching a refreshed approach for our Little Seedlings programme in 2021
  • For more information visit Little Seedlings