What is sustainability to the GRODAN group?

The GRODAN group follows the United Nations definition of sustainability (adopted at the Rio Conference in 1992), which is increasingly applied within the horticultural sector.

“Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs: environmental protection, economic growth and social development must be in balance”

Sustainable development programme

At the GRODAN Group, concern for human beings and the environment can be seen in every stage of the life cycle of our products. From the manufacture through to the recycling of our stone wool. In this way, the Group contributes to the goal of creating a more sustainable environment, now and in the future. We have implemented a programme that will guarantee continuous improvement in the field of sustainable development. This programme sets out three fundamental long term directions for the GRODAN Group.

These directions are aimed at:

  • making a serious contribution towards sustainable growing,
  • limiting the impact of the manufacturing of our products,
  • putting in place sustainable end-of-life solutions.

Each and every member of the GRODAN team works on realising the goals we have set within our sustainability directions and helps to bring our sustainable development to the next level. For more information on the sustainable development programme, please go to  www.3xsustainable.com.

Sustainability is one of the fundamental drivers of the GRODAN Group strategy. For us, sustainability means contributing towards the most sustainable production of healthy, fresh produce for an affordable price, by delivering:

  • Solutions and support to help the grower grow sustainably through Precision Growing.
  • Sustainable manufacturing, products and operations.
  • Sustainable end-of-life solutions.

What is sustainable greenhouse production?

Sustainable production

Reduce manufacturing impact

Basalt quarrying

The GRODAN Group sources its stone wool from its mother company, the ROCKWOOL Group, which complies with sound manufacturing practices and upholds high standards in its care for employees. The basalt rock used in stone wool manufacturing is quarried according to strict environmental regulations and GRODAN products are certified by the European Ecolabel.

Every year, volcanoes produce 38,000 times more new basalt than required to produce the entire global volume of stone wool for all purposes2. Natural weathering processes and the recognised “geological cycle” means that basalt is available in an almost endless supply. One of the regions where most of the basalt is quarried for GRODAN manufacturing is situated in Wetzlar, Germany. Here the basalt rock is located beneath 3–4 metres of top soil. The top layer of fertile soil is first excavated and then used to fill in former quarries. After filling, the area is returned to nature through reforestation using locally grown native plants and trees, in line with environmental legislation. Furthermore, for every tree planted, an additional tree is planted in another area. In other words, for each square metre of surface area quarried, twice as much forest is created. After the former quarries have been filled in, replanted and reforested, they quickly develop into areas of natural beauty, many protected by law, providing a natural habitat for a variety of animal and plant species that had previously disappeared from these areas.
2 The Scientist, May 2007. Table set up by Armin Reller (University of Augsburg) and Tom Greadel (University of Yale).

Manufacturing

The manufacturing of GRODAN products is certified according to ISO 14001 standards. This certification demonstrates that the manufacturing process of GRODAN substrates complies with globally accepted environmental-assurance standards. The certification is focused on the control of environmental impact, reduction of environmental risks and continual improvement of environmental performance. It guarantees the maximum efforts to maintain a decent living environment, both now and in the future. The manufacture of stone wool simulates the production of natural stone wool resulting from volcanic eruptions. Liquid Basalt is spun into threads in spinning chambers and then compressed into solid form in a hardening kiln.

The new stone wool is then cut into slabs, blocks or plugs. Only one cubic metre of basalt is needed to produce 50 cubic metres of stone wool. During this process, the Group minimises the environmental impact by limiting energy consumption and factory emissions.