Houwenplant uses tap water and ditch water. All water is first purified and then given to the plants. This is done by means of an ebb and flow system and a spray system (i.e. sprinkling from above). The water is used very sparingly. The water that is not absorbed by the plants is collected again, purified and reused. No used water ends up in the surface water. The water consumption has no influence on the drinking water supplies in the region.
Pest control occurs as much as possible 100% organicaly by using natural enemies so that as few crop protection products as possible are required. Houwenplant is in possession of all certificates showing that the company is very good at environmentally friendly business and cultivation. Houwenplant even meets the extra-legal requirements for the use of neonicotides.
A weak plant is more susceptible to pathogens than a vital plant. The biggest challenge is therefore to grow the plant vigorously, making it less susceptible to pests and diseases.
Houwenplant uses a CHP (combined heat and power) that simultaneously generates electricity and heat by burning natural gas in a boiler. The heat is used to keep the greenhouses warm and the electricity is sold to the electricity grid.
Houwenplant is currently working on installing solar panels on the roof of the barn in order to obtain energy. In addition, extra screen cloths were installed in 2017 that are energy-efficient and provide additional energy savings. This reduces the use of fossil fuels.
Through the combination of decentralised cultivation and central processing, Houwenplant also tries to save on energy consumption. By supplying full trucks with products to the central processing location, many small transport movements from 5 locations to customers are prevented. So combining transport saves transport energy. The plants are transported from the central processing location to the auctions in the Netherlands via a large transport company.
Pure CO2 is needed to allow the plants to grow. This CO2 is obtained by Houwenplant being connected to the OCAP (organic CO2 for assimilation by plants) network. This network ensures that the pure CO2, which is released as a waste product from the gas industry, can be used by Houwenplant. All waste at Houwenplant is separated and the company collecting it processes it into compost, which ultimately results in a reduction of gas emissions.