The Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media

The Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media has been developed by the Growing Media Association in collaboration with the Horticultural Trades Association, leading retailers, Defra and NGOs. It assesses the impact of each raw material that accounts for more than 5% of the volume of the mix, against seven criteria.

At Melcourt we have played a leading role in the creation and ongoing development of the scheme and virtually all of our eligible products now carry an audited score.


Choosing to act in a more environmentally responsible way is about making deliberate and educated decisions. The Responsible Sourcing Scheme scoring system allows the consumer to make these choices, fully confident that any product with the scheme rating score displayed, has been independently assessed against the 7 criteria listed below:


  • Energy Use – This assesses the energy used to create the raw material. Renewable energy such as solar power will generate a better rating than a non-renewable energy, such as coal. In the case of bark and wood, Melcourt’s two principal raw materials, we are required to count the total energy from forest site preparation and planting through to the mixing line.
  • Water Use – This refers to how much water is used in the process of creating the raw material. Water is a finite resource, so we need to use it carefully.
  • Social Compliance – This is all about people – making sure that people employed to provide the raw material are working in acceptable conditions, that their health and safety is considered, and no child labour or bonded workers are used.
  • Habitat & Biodiversity – We want to make sure that the area where the raw material is produced minimises the impact to wildlife and creation of biodiverse habitats.
  • Pollution – It is important to minimise the amount of pollution to the environment through the manufacturing process.
  • Resource Use Efficiency – This assesses the amount of waste generated and what efforts are taken to minimise waste. If the raw material can be used as a by-product from other industries, then this will gain a better rating.
  • Renewability – This assesses the amount of time it takes to replace the resource used.It does not consider fertilisers or any other ingredients used in small (<5% by volume) quantities.


Scores for eligible products can be viewed on their product pages on this website and further information about the Responsible Sourcing Scheme can be found at

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