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How Green Is Your Garden?

The British love affair with the garden reveals our deep desire to have a connection with nature.

The British love affair with the garden reveals our deep desire to have a connection with nature. And as the debate about global warming and environmental crisis rages, we like to think our gardens are natural retreats where we can soothe our green conscience. But Marshalls is asking consumers to really consider: how green is your garden by visiting

Marshalls has created a unique online carbon calculator to measure the impact of the Marshalls’ hard landscaping products you buy. The calculator gives you a good idea of how many trees you should plant compared with how much hard landscaping product you are laying.

If you’re eager to minimise the carbon impact of the hard landscaping you choose, then it’s worth remembering that Marshalls’ reconstituted concrete products have just half the carbon footprint of the same quantity of imported natural stone such as Indian sandstone. Yet in ten years time it is estimated that imports of natural stone will make up 20% of all hard landscaping products bought. So it is vital people understand the choices they can make to select the most sustainably produced stone.

Says Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director of Marshalls Plc: “People assume that natural stone products have a lesser environmental impact than concrete products. But that is not always the case. In reality, our ethically sourced natural sandstone products such as Haworth Moor generate 99% more CO² than our Heritage, Firedstone and National Trust reconstituted concrete product ranges.

In the last twelve months Marshalls has reduced by 40% the amount of CO² produced in the manufacture of its domestic driveway block paving. Now the Marshalls for Sustainable Landscapes programme aims to highlight sustainability issues that affect the hard landscaping market.

At Marshalls’ Sustainability Summit in November 2006, which aimed to set the agenda for more sustainable landscapes in 2007, Andrew Frost, Sustainability Manager for the Concrete Centre, explained why concrete products could in fact be ‘greener’ than their natural alternatives.

“The UK concrete industry is unique in that massive reductions in carbon intensity have been made through industrial ecology. Ten years ago 1.5 tonnes of CO² was produced during the manufacture of a single tonne of finished concrete. In 2005 that figure was down to 0.82 tonnes for every finished tonne.”

At Marshalls, further reductions are achieved by introducing alternative recycled materials into the manufacturing process in place of cement. Marshalls uses various recycled materials to assist in reducing cement consumption during manufacture, including blast-furnace slag, pulverised fuel ash, recycled aggregates and crushed recycled concrete. The recent reduction in CO² achieved across the Group’s manufacturing operations is equivalent to the CO² consumption of almost 14,000 trees.

Whilst Marshalls continues to work hard reducing this impact through more efficient manufacturing, you can also play your part in creating the carbon neutral garden of your dreams. Visit and you can easily calculate the CO² impact of your Marshalls hard landscaping design. The Carbon Calculator then tells you how many trees to plant in order to offset this impact and create a carbon neutral garden.

Buying ethically sourced and sustainably manufactured products from a company that cares so deeply about the environmental and social impact of its products and its operations is the first step in ensuring you have a green garden. Considering the balance of hard and soft landscaping within the garden you create, with an eye on the carbon stats, is a further way you can enjoy a more sustainable landscape in your own back garden.

For more information on sustainable hard landscapes, visit Marshalls for Sustainable Landscapes online at