Horticulture co-operative Berry Gardens has installed the biggest solar energy system of its kind at its headquarters in Linton, near Maidstone, thanks to a £780,000 Green Loan from HSBC UK.

The location comprises of a 993KW Solar Array with over 3,600 solar panels covering 6,143m2, enabling Berry Gardens to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

Working with UK growers and overseas partners, Berry Gardens is the largest grower-owned horticulture co-operative in the UK. The business provides retailers with a year-round supply of soft fruit and berries. Established in 1972, the co-operative has 45 members and the business is passionate about delivering green energy solutions as part of its wider sustainability objectives.

Nick Allen, CEO of Berry Gardens, said: “Investment in reducing the environmental impact of our British production is essential and the support from HSBC UK with an Asset Purchase Green Loan has enabled us to further reduce our carbon footprint. We estimate that the new Solar Array will provide enough energy to satisfy the demand of 237  four-bed houses for a year and will take 292,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainability at HSBC UK, added: “We‘re increasingly seeing companies invest in low carbon technology not only because of the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions but also because it makes good economic sense.  This Green Loan helps Berry Gardens to generate a significant percentage of the energy it uses and reduces its carbon footprint significantly, making the business one of the UK’s leaders in sustainable fruit production. 

“The project further strengthens Berry Gardens’ sustainability credentials at a time when many large buyers are now setting publicly disclosed sustainability targets for their supply chain.”

Jenni Adams, Head of Corporate Banking for Kent at HSBC UK, commented: “As one of the leading growers in the UK fruit industry, Berry Gardens stands as an excellent example of how companies can build sustainable practices into their business models. HSBC UK is delighted to be supporting the company in increasing its green credentials, and we look forward to seeing it flourish as a result.”

HSBC is committed to helping businesses transition to a lower carbon economy having a public commitment to provide $100bn of sustainable financing and investment by 2025. HSBC’s Green Loan offering is available to Large Corporates, Mid-Market Enterprises and SMEs looking to secure funding for sustainable activities. The Green Loan is available for a minimum loan of £300,000, enabling businesses to access finance to support their sustainability projects.

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