Plants@work Ltd, formerly efig Ltd, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on 22 February.
The organisation formed to offer one voice to speak for the interior landscaping industry. It was also to promote the many benefits of plants in the workplace in particular.
The Association’s first Chairman was Steve Atrill then of Rentokil/Ambius now of Flora-tec.
He explained, “Prompted by a media outcry about the fit-out costs of Portcullis House including the installation of 12 large Ficus trees in the atrium, a group of businesses in the interior landscape industry lead by Tony Sawyer of Clarks and Spears, now Living Green, came together to form the Association.
“The cost of the trees at Portcullis House was considered astronomical. The trees were seen as decorative for the MP’s new home. A case of government over-spending for their own. Several spoke out about the benefits the trees offered.
“This was the incentive that encouraged us to form an official body to speak out on behalf of the industry.
“Since then the organisation has gone on not only to fulfil its original plan but to cement an association to support the industry in many ways.”
An on-going cause
Over the years plants@work has campaigned to raise awareness of our need for plants. Both inside and outside.
They also spread the many benefits that they bring to businesses and to the health of employers and employees.
This has meant responding to government and the media when plants have not been recognised for their many qualities.
In recent years, the popularity of houseplants and the interest in biophilia have made this a little easier.
Building a strong support for Plants@work members
Over the 20 years, the association has developed a good basis for members too.
The current chair of plants@work, Madeleine Evans of Indoor Garden Design explains, “
“Last year wasn’t easy for our members. But we kept them all informed of what was going on in the industry generally. We had several Zoom social meetings as well as official meetings including our AGM.
“Last year’s Awards ceremony was also held via Zoom; this was a great success with a bumper crop of strong entries.
“This year we hope that we will be able to meet up in person later in the year to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We won’t let the pandemic stop our celebrations as we have several events planned for the year.
“Some of our plans include: the publication of ‘Plants for Wellbeing 2’. This is a conference for our members, a series of interviews with past Chairs about interior landscaping industry issues. It’ll also include a series of monthly special weeks on social media promoting different aspects of our industry.
“Last year our industry faced unprecedented challenges. I’m looking forward to taking the Association into our next 20 years where plants are going to become a necessary and permanent fixture. We are here to carry on our mission of promoting plants and their many benefits to us all.”