FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Best Management Practices for Climate Friendly Nurseries Helps Oregon Nurseries Boost Efficiency—and Their Bottom Line
The first publication of the Climate Friendly Nurseries Project uses lessons learned from sustainability leaders in the industry
The Best Management Practices for Climate Friendly Nurseries will help growers of Oregon’s largest agricultural commodity use energy and other resources more efficiently so that they can increase profitability and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Portland, OR—Climate Friendly Nurseries, an innovative sustainability project led by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and the Oregon Environmental Council, released Best Management Practices for Climate Friendly Nurseries today. The guide will help growers of Oregon’s largest agricultural commodity use energy and other resources more efficiently so that they can increase profitability and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The best practices in the guide were developed with expertise from Oregon State University and Ecos Consulting and input from Oregon nurseries participating in the project. They include many low and no-cost options that offer long-term cost savings and have a payback period of less than two years, as well as longer-term investments.
The guide also features case studies of Oregon nurseries that have implemented the recommended best practices. For example, J. Frank Schmidt and Son, Co., already a leader in efficiency, installed underground drip irrigation at their Canby farm, saving water and enabling them to deliver nutrients straight to the plant’s roots. “We were paying a lot of overtime for workers to move irrigation pipe, and fertilizer costs had increased dramatically,” said Sam Doane, Production Horticulturist. “Finding a way to mitigate these rising expenses was a key priority.” Drip irrigation and fertigation alone have reduced the company’s fertilizer and water use by 30 percent and delivered significant labor savings.
The Climate Friendly Nurseries project helps Oregon nurseries not only quantify their energy and resource use and greenhouse gas emissions but also identifies ways to reduce them. The project helps participants secure energy audits and identify grants, low interest loans and tax credits. The Climate Friendly Nurseries website offers tools created for this project, such as the GHG Inventory, which enables nurseries to measure and track resource and energy use, as well as reductions in costs and GHG emissions over time. The website also features links to numerous calculators to help nurseries determine the potential annual savings and payback period for efficiency measures.
“The Climate Friendly Nurseries Project helps nurseries figure out the best mix of investments and low-cost changes to make in order to cut waste and be as efficient as possible,” explained Allison Hensey, OEC’s Healthy Food and Farms Program Director. “We’re sharing road-tested solutions to reduce costs and climate impact through the Best Management Practices guide.”
The Climate Friendly Nurseries Project is just one piece of the OAN Sustainability Initiative. The overall program goal is to identify and promote sustainable practices, make resources available to growers, and enhance marketplace value for sustainably-produced Oregon plants. “The sustainability tide is rising locally, nationally and globally,” said Whitney Rideout, Business Development Manager for the OAN. “It is real, it is significant, and it influences the actions of those upon whom we all depend for our continued success.”
Nursery owners and managers can pick up a free copy of the Best Management Practices Guide at OAN’s booth at the Far West Show August 26 – 28, 2010, or find it online at www.climatefriendlynurseries.org.
For more information about the Climate Friendly Nurseries project, go to: www.climatefriendlynurseries.org.
About the Oregon Association of
The Oregon Association of Nurseries, based in Wilsonville, represents more than 1,100 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Oregon's ornamental horticulture industry is the state's largest agricultural commodity, with annual sales of $820 million. For information visit www.oan.org or call 503-682-5089.
About the Oregon Environmental
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon—clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For 40 years we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxics, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at www.oeconline.org.