Eco-friendly, green and relaxing – flower meadows are beneficial for everyone. They bring more biodiversity to big cities, reduce CO2 emissions and save water. Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed EPP (JSE: EPP), Poland’s biggest retail landlord, keeps improving its surroundings for the good of its stakeholders, including shoppers and the environment. By introducing flower meadows at the company’s shopping centres, EPP is blending shopping with nature and showing respect to ecology.
Flower meadows are colourful, flowery and useful alternatives to regular lawns. They are virtually maintenance-free as they don’t require fertilising, mowing or watering on daily basis. This modern solution is a growing trend in Poland bringing nature closer to people, making cities greener and enhancing their biodiversity.
“EPP is dedicated to ensuring sustainable business growth. We not only care about the environment, but also respond to the needs of our clients. People nowadays expect companies to respond responsibly to the challenges of today’s world. In Poland they include air pollution, water shortages, and low biodiversity in cities. The flower meadows we plant around our facilities instead of lawns are an example of our response to issues occurring locally, in our surroundings. We believe that even the smallest initiative matters, and we try to spread this attitude, hoping that others will follow. After all, the Planet Earth is our home and we all should care about it,” says Tomasz Trzósło, CEO of EPP.
In Poland, flower meadows typically consist of colourful, flowering annuals, perennials and grasses. In South Africa, this type of garden is probably most recognisable as the African grassland gardens increasingly appearing in urban and suburban landscapes.
But these are much more than just an updated version of a lawn. They allow for more efficient use of resources and lower CO2 emissions. As deeply rooted, meadows retain water well, which makes them drought resistant and means they don’t need additional watering or fertilizing. Compared to an urban lawn, they also need to be mown less often, what additionally limits the level of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. Significantly, flower meadows contribute to a cleaner air directly by catching pollution with its plants and thus, by reducing smog level. A mere square metre of flower meadow filters the air as effectively as a five-year-old tree. Such places are also a paradise for pollinators and other beneficial wildlife. Insects such as European honeybees and different helpful bugs can find a shelter there.
EPP has introduced the project at Galeria Solna in Inowroclaw this year, where together with DIY tenant Leroy Merlin, it planted half a hectare of unique flower meadow. EPP also has a 520 sqm meadow garden at King Cross Marcelin in Poznan, which is only the beginning of converting all the centre’s green areas into flower meadows. A third project has been already launched at Galeria Sudecka, which should be in full bloom in March 2022.