Environment Statement 2008

Everything we do at the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has an impact on the environment. We want to leave as small an environmental footprint as we can, and to influence others to do the same.

In the last seven years we have:

  • Halved potable water consumption in the Domain and Royal Botanic Garden.
  • Used 100% dam and rainwater at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.
  • Used 90 to 100% of mulch and other organic matter from recycled green waste at our three botanic gardens.
  • Recycled, every year, over 25 tonnes of general waste (e.g. bottles, cans, paper and cardboard).
  • Reduced electricity use by almost 40 per cent and gas consumption by over 80 per cent in the Herbarium building.
  • Significantly reduced our use of toxic chemicals for pest control, and continue to trial and use nontoxic alternatives such as biological controls.
  • Selected plant species that are less susceptible to pests and diseases and do not require high pesticide treatments.
  • Sourced garden materials from sustainable sources - and not used peat moss and arsenic-chrome treated timber.
  • Implemented a national botanic gardens weed policy, including the assessment of all new plant collections and potential weed species.
  • Used environmentally sustainable design principles for all new buildings, depots and nurseries.

Leading up to our Bicentenary in 2016, we will:

  • Use 100% non-potable water for irrigating the Domain and Royal Botanic Garden. This year consistent progress was made towards harvesting storm water for use on the Sydney estates.
  • Develop garden themes that promote sustainable gardening practices; use plant species which require low maintenance and develop displays using recycled landscape materials where practical.
  • Remove and control problem weeds from the Australian Botanic Garden. This year an opportunity for removing all African Olive from the Australian Botanic Garden by 2016 became available.
  • Review Trust retail products and packaging to minimise our environmental footprint and to promote environmental responsibility.
  • Reinstate turf demonstration plots which will display and trial new turf grass varieties that have less dependence on water, chemicals and fertilisers. Completed in 2007.
  • Install rainwater tanks in the Domain, the Royal Botanic Garden and the Australian Botanic Garden and increase water recycling on all estates. One new tank was installed in the Royal Botanic Garden this year.
  • Set new challenging targets for all energy use. The Trust will audit its energy use and investigate options for ‘green generators’. 

Healthy Gardens: Healthy People

girl smelling flower