AmericanHort is partnering with Netherlands-based sustainability certification expert MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) to help green industry businesses improve sustainability best practices. The partnership was officially announced at an AmericanHort Town Hall meeting at MANTS in Baltimore, MD, last week.
The partnership was spurred by AmericanHort’s initiative to provide new, industry-leading programs to help its members perform better, grow faster, and prepare for the future, according to Ken Fisher, President and CEO of AmericanHort.
“Our alliance with MPS will promote and expand best practices in the area of environmental sustainability, enabling the entire industry to perform better,” Fisher says. “The sustainability standards introduced through this alliance should improve profitability for the industry.”
As a pioneer of sustainability standards, MPS has been perfecting the formula to define best practices for growers for more than 20 years. Its MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification program evaluates a company’s performance in five sustainable categories, including use of crop protection agents, fertilizers, energy, water, and recycling. Participants in the program receive benchmark data and feedback on their individual performance in these categories four times per year. The MPS-ABC certification focuses on continuous improvement and indicates that a grower is a sustainability leader in their field.
“We have more than 3,000 growers participating in the MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification globally, but fewer than 100 of those are based in North America,” said Arthij van der Veer, General Coordinator for North America at MPS. “The alliance with AmericanHort provides a great opportunity to work more closely with the horticulture industry in general and growers individually. Through this we can help increase transparency and sustainability in this region.”
Among 70 North American growers who have already signed up for the program, Tom Demaline, Owner of Willoway Nursery in Ohio and current AmericanHort Board Chairman, is eager to test out the value of the MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification program.
“We are continually looking for ways to be a more environmentally conscious operation, and improve our business practices and our bottom line,” Demaline says. “We look forward to identifying opportunities for improvement through this MPS certification process.”