Bell Nursery has been recognized by the Green Business Certification Program and has earned a listing in the Montgomery County Green Business Directory. The Green Business Certification Program is a voluntary recognition program managed by the County's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in partnership with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC).
The Green Business Certification Program empowers County businesses to prosper while reducing impacts on the environment. The program also encourages local consumers and other businesses to consider Certified Green Businesses when making purchasing decisions.
Bell Nursery has taken significant strides over the last decade to become a leader in sustainability strategies. Headquartered in Burtonsville and Elkridge, the nursery is an innovative company focused on growing quality flowers and plants, and assuring this quality through retail exclusively at The Home Depot. Bell Nursery is the largest wholesale nursery grower in the mid-Atlantic, producing and shipping tens of millions of plants annually.
For the past seven years, Bell Nursery has received the distinguished Veriflora®Sustainably Grown certification from SCS Global Services, a worldwide third-party certifier of environmental, sustainability and agricultural product quality claims.
'We strive to do the right thing every day to benefit future generations,' said Cole Mangum, vice president of production for Bell Nursery. 'We continue to be one of a small group of big-box suppliers able to meet the criteria for this program. Receiving certification under this gold standard meant passing a multi-day inspection to prove we meet or exceed benchmarks for sustainable-crop production, product quality, employee safety, ecosystem protection, and product purity.
'The Green Business Certification Program is an umbrella program that recognizes businesses certified through a number of robust third party standards,' said Doug Weisburger who manages the Program. 'Once we learned of Bell's Veriflora certification, and understood the level of commitment the standard demanded, we simply folded it into our Program.'
'One of the things that impressed us most about Bell Nursery's commitment to sustainability was their willingness to grow milkweed plants so that local residents could plant this critically important food source for the Monarch Butterfly,' said Barbara Ashe, Executive Vice President of the MCCC. 'In fact, we were so taken with Bell's efforts that we recognized the company as 'Visionary of the Year' at our Annual Dinner.'
'Producers of Veriflora® Sustainably Grown crops work diligently to provide a safe and healthy work environment, support farm communities, and protect vital environmental resources such as clean air, clean water, and wildlife habitat, while reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions,' said Lesley Sykes, SCS Manager of Sustainable Agriculture.
Bell Nursery also operates two of its Maryland facilities on 100 percent wind-generated power and has recycled over 3 million pounds of pots, trays, tags, cardboard and paper sleeves in the last six years. It has been a leader in pollinator promotion, not using any chemicals in the neonicotinoid class for the last three years, while working with professional beekeepers on their 23 bee hives to observe firsthand the challenges that face bees and the multitude of factors impacting their decline.
For more information on Montgomery County's Green Business Certification Program go to http://www.mcgreenbiz.org/.