Sustainability Policy

Sustainability Policy

Our commitment to a sustainable future as the world’s champion for the power of plants

AIPH was established as an association in Switzerland in 1948, when a group of grower associations of Western Europe came together, united by a post-war ambition to mend relations between European horticulturalists and to rebuild burnt bridges. Over the following decades, AIPH has grown into a global force for horticulture, uniting grower associations across the world and is responsible for the world’s finest horticultural expositions.  AIPH became an international non-profit association, incorporated in Belgium in 2013.

Our purpose is to reignite and uphold an appreciation of plants that we believe is a basic human instinct.  As a community of plant-growing organisations, we strive for a world in which humanity, technology, and nature exist in a healthy and stable equilibrium. By achieving this we will build a balanced and prosperous future for all, sustaining the planet for this generation and the next.

We aim to achieve this by:

  • Advancing the essential role of plants in sustaining our planet 
  • Making clear the value of plants in the urban environment
  • Pushing the boundaries of science and sharing cutting-edge research 
  • Helping all of us rediscover an affinity with our surroundings as old as humanity

We are committed to upholding the highest standards of governance and ethics, and fully subscribe to the key principles of sustainable development, namely, inclusivity, integrity, stewardship, and transparency.  We will comply with all applicable legal requirements where we operate, and we will strive continually to improve our sustainability performance.

Our commitment to sustainability is expressed through five thematic areas, which are material to what we do and where we believe we can make the most positive impact:

  • Climate action – using plants and green spaces to support climate adaptation and resilience programmes in urban environments
  • Biodiversity conservation – promoting nature in cities and sustainable horticultural practices worldwide
  • Sustainable sourcing and resource management – adopting circular economy principles, reducing plastic waste and other forms of pollution, supporting efficient production and ethical supply chain management
  • Equity & inclusion – promoting plant growing and green spaces for all, upholding fair and equitable practices across the horticultural value chain, diversity, and human rights
  • Education & awareness raising – engaging, informing, and inspiring people to appreciate the importance of plants and the places where they grow, and to take action to protect and enhance their local environment through plant growing

To address these key sustainability themes and achieve our objectives, we will implement this policy through the following actions and measures:

  • Promoting the most sustainable, ethical, and advanced practices in ornamental plant production and management
  • Regulating and guiding the world’s most exceptional horticultural expos that promote the conservation of biodiversity and create long lasting green legacies in cities across the globe
  • Defining operational requirements and standards for the planning and staging of horticultural expos to ensure they are the world’s most sustainable major events
  • Activating our Green City initiative to demonstrate the essential role of plants in creating vibrant urban areas in which people and businesses can thrive and improving adaptation and resilience to climate change.
  • Awarding and celebrating the most progressive growers and Green City projects
  • Being a focal point for sharing sustainability best practice and innovation 
  • Providing a source of sustainability expertise for our member associations, partners, and expo hosts

Sustainability is a broad discipline with much still to be developed and learned. Therefore, we welcome active collaboration with partner organisations across the AIPH community and beyond, as we can achieve so much more through working together. 

Furthermore, we will openly and regularly report on our progress in implementing this policy and the commitments we make on sustainability to take account of evolving policies, standards, best practices, and technology, and we will share what we learn.

The AIPH Managing Board

AIPH President, Leonardo Capitanio