A Hertfordshire-based nursery and garden centre is investing in driving sustainability with the support of a £180,000 loan from Lloyds Bank.
Aylett Nurseries, based south of St Albans, used the funding to invest in 455 new solar panels for its site, which will provide renewable energy for 30 per cent of its annual electricity consumption. The new solar panels also follow previous investments in electric vehicle chargers for customers and LED lighting throughout its centre, as it aims to set an example for protecting the environment.
Aylett, which was founded in 1955, has previously introduced advanced computer-controlled greenhouse systems to ensure that heat and energy use is optimised throughout the growing process.
The family business, which has 70 staff across its nursery and garden centre, also has its own advice centre, where visitors can learn how their gardens can positively impact the environment.
As well as investing in new technology to improve sustainability, Aylett grows as many plants as possible on its site totalling nearly 330,000 sq ft, helping to avoid transporting products from elsewhere.
Adam Wigglesworth, director at Aylett Nurseries, said: “Forward-thinking is at the heart of how our business operates, and the investment in the new solar panels is a prime example of that. We know our customers are hugely engaged with the environment, given they’re keen gardeners, and we want to do all we can to make a difference.
“Becoming more sustainable is crucial to our growth, as well as being the right thing to do. In time, we’ll save money on our energy bills which we can re-invest elsewhere in the centre, helping to improve the customer experience and the range of what we can offer. The future looks bright and the support from Lloyds Bank is putting us in a position to flourish.”
Aaron Rodway, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Investing in sustainability is increasingly becoming a top priority for businesses across Hertfordshire and beyond. Adam and the team at Aylett are setting an example of how to invest responsibly and make the changes that matter to their customers.
“The business doesn’t rest on its laurels, and it has a track record of investing in new tech. That’s helped to keep Aylett moving forward and make itself a modern business in a modern world. We’ll remain by the business’ side as it continues to invest and evolve.”