Rainwater collected in water basins is being utilized. This water is checked annually to make sure that it contains no wrong substances. If really necessary, surface water can be used as well.
The greenhouses are equipped with a closed watering system. This means that all the water that is not absorbed by the plants is collected again. The water is then purified and filtered and can be returned to the plants. As a result, no water with fertilizers is washed into public waters.
The plants are watered with nutrients via a new spraying system. This system ensures that the plants receive water in an efficient and effective way, which benefits the water consumption and the growth of the plants.
The water consumption of Van Winden Erica has no influence on the drinking water supplies in the region.
It is very important for the cultivation of healthy plants to keep the pests within the nursery under control. If pests are not tackled early, this could cause major damage.
Within the company some people check on a daily basis whether there are any pests or diseases in the plants. If they find something, an attempt will be made to control this disease and pests by using biology (natural enemies). Also, natural enemies will be added preventively. For example, the parasitic wasp or spidex predatory mites. This approach reduces the use of crop protection products to a minimum. Rodents can be kept outdoors by good hygiene. If this does not work, the cat will help to find and catch the rodents.
The carbon footprint of the largest crop, the Zamioculcas, is known. Every year, an effort is made to decrease this footprint. The biggest gain can be achieved by choosing alternative energy sources. The possibilities for the best alternative energy sources are now being investigated by a group of growers in Erica. These include geothermal energy, solar panels, windmills, solar boilers, heat exchangers and smart-grids (a link between the many users and producers of energy for more efficient use).
Since suppliers also influence the footprint, suppliers are carefully chosen.
The use of fossil fuels is further reduced by using CHP (Combined Heat and Power). This means that the gas, which has been used for many years to heat the greenhouses, is used more efficiently. Electricity is generated when the gas is burned. The generated electricity is used for the lamps and the heat and CO2 that is released is used for the feeding and growth of the plants.
Part of the green waste is collected by third parties who then compile it and partly process it into waste wood. The other part of the green waste (waste from the Zamioculcas) is processed by Van Winden Erica into compost and spread over a piece of grassland.
The transport to the customers is done by the transport company Transpa Emmen. They drive modern trucks that meet the strictest Euro 6 environmental standards.