Sustainability and the sunny side up

As a successful grower of speciality produce, Westland Nurseries is keen to improve its sustainability.

Indeed, its products featured on the popular BBC series MasterChef.

Based in the Vale of Evesham, it employs more than 100 local, full-time staff, and marries both human labour and cutting-edge technology to grow edible flowers, micro leaves and other speciality produce loved by Michelin-starred chefs.

But it is as a business profiting from the fruits of nature that sustainability has become a key concern.

“At Westland Nurseries we’re passionate about sustainable growing and looking after our planet and its resources,” says Peter Taylor, the company’s General Manager.

“Sustainability improvements we are making across the business will not only help us toward our climate goals but will result in better and more delicious produce.”

Making sustainability improvements

Those sustainability improvements include a deal totalling approximately £1m with Lombard – the asset finance provider of the NatWest Group - to fund upgrades to the business that will help improve its sustainability.


It includes:

  • £540k to finance LED lighting for horticultural growing. The superior light quality provided by LEDs will increase product yields while reducing the energy required, thereby saving costs and reducing the business’ carbon footprint.
  • £160k to fund solar photovoltaics (PV) on site, which provide energy to Westland’s production house. This helps reduce external energy consumption and helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
  • Further funding for a new packing line that will enhance production efficiency while reducing costs to the wider business.


Peter explains that the replacement of old-fashioned, high-pressure sodium lights has been one among a number of long-standing ambitions to help the business become more efficient. With its LED lights the business can get more light per unit of energy input.

“This effectively enables us to be more nimble with cropping plans and increases flexibility,” adds Peter. “By being able to give plants more light for the same energy, we can have some really dynamic lighting regimes that will protect the business from high energy prices, lower our energy consumption per unit of production and make more use of our onsite generated power rather than reliance on grid bought power.”

Investing for change

That onsite-generated power, created by solar PV panels installed on the business’ packhouse roof, has contributed nearly 60% of Westland Nurseries’ daytime base load. It has also allowed it to be more flexible in its operation, utilising generated power over and above drawing power form the grid.

“This past year saw record prices for power paid by users,” says Peter. “By utilising our roof space, we can harness mother nature’s energy and again help protect us against rising energy prices. When the sun shines, we need to irrigate crops more and run our cooling systems more in our packing facilities. Solar power mirrors this demand usage perfectly.”


Find out more about how Lombard could help with your energy use

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