Sustainibility and the environment

We are continuously exploring materials and methods

To reduce footprint and the environmental impact

food demandFree Peat is continuously exploring materials and methods to reduce footprint and the environmental impact.

But in stead of evaluating only one of the properties of a product, such as emissions, we must investigate all properties that have an impact on the environment.  Packing, Transport and processing but more important: the efficiency of the product.

An in-efficient product can result in crop loss, higher water- and nutrient consumption and less yield or inferior plants. Thus resulting in a greater negative environmental impact.  To date, peat remains the superior growing medium for plants and it is by far the most forgiving medium. Why is peat so unique and sought after with growers?

  • Sphagnum peat has a high water holding capacity: >65% in  volume. It provides a balanced water and water-soluble nutrients to the roots. It also has a high air-holding capacity. This is important as roots need a constant supply of oxygen.  The balance between water , nutrients and oxygen is key in any substrate. This way, peat can even help save water and nutrients.
  • Peat can be compressed and has a low bulk density making it economical in transport and packing. This reduces the environmental footprint. 
  • Peat is structurally stable. It contains no weeds or contaminations and is the most proven medium in horticulture. It is 100% organic and contains microbal life, beneficial for healthy plant growth. 
  • It has a naturally low EC and pH, making it the perfect blank canvas to modify for almost any crop. 


Efficient Food production improves health and nutrition, promote environmental sustainability and deliver economic growth. It is becoming of key importance in a rapidly urbanizing world where area and water become scarse. 

A good substrate encourages sustainable horticulture, and facilitates local farming. It ensures that food has passed the highest safety standards in the world.

Nibbling at the very foundation of proper food production, the substrate, undermines the fight against global hunger and health for generations to come. It only worsens the 'foodprint' .

At present

Free Peat supplies peat only from sustainable sources

Extraction is done only on pre-developed fields. The use complies with the terms of the European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA)

Most of the fields are RPP certified. RPP is reliable certification system for responsible and sustainable peat production. Members are audited by the independent ECAS certification entity. Our goal is to have all sources RPP certified in the next 5 years.

All our sources are RHP inspected.

As is our entire chain of transport and production. We are therefore fully RHP certified. 
The RHP quality mark gives a thorough quality judgement on the certified substrates. Substrates, soil supply and soil improving materials with the RHP quality mark are stable and guarantee an optimal nutrient medium. 
This makes it easier for both professional buyers and consumers to decide. They can trust that the certified companies have done everything to make sure that the growing medium has the best quality, is safe and clean.

Did you know…..

  • Peat grows! Although slowly, with a 1 mm spread per year, yearly accumulation of new peat is 20 million tons! Peat moss is very adaptable, small, but mighty—even sometimes “pushing” trees out of the area because it’s so competitive for water. 
  • On a global scale, Peat Moss grows more than 60 times faster than it is harvested

Innovations in technology and advances in research allow peat extractors to continue to offer peat for horticulture, while also being good environmental stewards.

There is only a 40-50 day window during the summer when peat can be harvested and it’s very dependent on the weather.

Peat is also used for energy as fuel and as bedding material for animals.

The demand for peat in substrates will increase with 400% in the next 20 years due to the expanding global urbanization and food requirements.

Peatlands cover 4.23 million km2, or 2.84%, and drained peatlands make up only 0.5% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface. Only a very small area is used for horticultural purposes. According to the IPS, only 0.0005% of the worlds' peat is harvested and converted into commercial horticulture or domestic garden products.


When the peat extraction is finished, the areas in question are prepared in accordance with the legal requirements. Sites will be restored and can become biotopes for nature by re-wetting, or become available for other communal purposes.
Together with all stakeholders, we plan and execute the aftercare for peatlands.

Both have a significant impact on the environment. At present, Free Peat is using packing materials with recycled and renewable materials. Our aim is to have only circular and bio-based packaging materials by 2027.
We are also looking more towards rail transport, especially to Asia, but also within Europe. Optimizing loading capacity, for example with our 225L bags (651 bags/40ft) or 70L bags (up to 1300 bags/40ft) reduces footprint and costs.

Although peat moss remains the primary and most preferred element in substrates, Free Peat is also implementing alternatives such as wood fibre, coco peat and compost. Still no other raw material with the same or better qualities has been found and transitional steps should be taken carefully and slowly.