This Month marks the 20th Anniversary of Plants@work and here we focus on the background to this leading association.

20 Year Anniversary for Plants@work

Plants@work Ltd, (formerly efig Ltd), is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week (Feb 22).

The organisation was formed to offer one voice to speak for the Interior Landscape industry as a whole and to promote the many benefits of plants in the workplace in particular.

Raising Profile

The Association’s first Chairman Steve Atrill, then of Rentokil/Ambius now of Flora-tec, 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 (below), a group of businesses in the interior landscape industry lead by Tony Sawyer of Clarke and Spears, now Living Green, came together to form the Association.

Benefits of Trees

“The cost of the trees at Portcullis House was considered astronomical and the trees were seen as purely decorative for the M.P.'s new home. 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 tirelessly to raise awareness of our need for plants both inside and outside and 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 beyond pure aesthetics.

In recent years, the popularity of houseplants and the rise of interest in biophilia have made this a little easier.

Strong Support for Members

Over the 20 years, the association has developed a good basis for members too from training programmes, exhibitions and conferences, seminars, prestigious annual Leaf Awards and much more.

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 plus we had several Zoom social meetings as well as official meetings including our AGM.

“Last year’s Awards ceremony was also held virtually via Zoom; this was a great success with a bumper crop of strong entries.

Several Events Planned

“This year we hope that we will be able to meet up in person later in the year to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. However we won’t let the pandemic stop our celebrations as we have several events planned for the year which will be held one way or another.

This image is reproduced by kind permission of Tree Locate.

Plants for Wellbeing 2 

“Some of our plans include: the publication of ‘Plants for Wellbeing 2’, a conference for our members, a series of interviews with past Chairs about Interior Landscaping Industry issues, plus a series of monthly special weeks on social media promoting different aspects of our industry which have already been launched plus much more.

Permanent Fixture

“Last year our industry faced unprecedented challenges and I am looking forward to taking the Association into our next 20 years where plants are going to become a necessary and permanent fixture of each workspace, hospitality venue, home and public space. We are here to carry on our mission of promoting plants and their many benefits to us all.”