Mar 25, 2011

ScottsMiracle-Gro Launches Water Quality and Conservation Initiative

Company plans to reduce phosphorus in products, start consumer education campaign

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. launched new initiatives involving product changes and consumer education efforts to improve water quality and conservation in the United States.

Two key initiatives related to the nutrient content of lawn fertilizers were announced. First, by the end of 2012 phosphorus will be removed from ScottsMiracle-Gro lawn fertilizers, which includes the Scotts Turf Builder brand. The company began reducing phosphorus in its lawn food products in 2006, and it has concluded that most lawns in the U.S. can flourish without supplemental phosphorus applications.

The company also announced it is increasing its focus on more efficient and optimized ways to use nitrogen in its lawn fertilizer products through enhanced science and technology efforts. Nitrogen is a critical nutrient for maintaining healthy grass.

Because phosphorus is essential to the initial root development of grass, the nutrient will remain in the company’s starter fertilizers, which are used for new lawns. Phosphorus also will remain in ScottsMiracle-Gro’s lines of organic lawn food, as it naturally occurs in the organic materials contained in the products. The company’s enhanced exploration of nitrogen technology will begin immediately, anticipating that the initiative will lead to more efficient use of nitrogen in lawn fertilizers.

Jim Hagedorn, company president and CEO, said that a central part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s new initiative is a multi-year commitment to new consumer communication, education and grassroots outreach regarding water quality and conservation. This commitment includes incorporating water quality and conservation messaging into ScottsMiracle-Gro’s consumer advertising, dedicated websites and other digital outreach tools for consumers, and funding for educational outreach efforts with environmental partners and local organizations.

As part of this effort, outreach programs will initially be developed in conjunction with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the National Wildlife Federation, and the company expects to partner with other organizations as the initiative progresses. The company also plans to enhance its current partnership with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and make educational resources available through more than 600 KAB local affiliates for community education initiatives on storm water runoff prevention and water conservation.