Poland has 100,000 hectares of municipal lawns across the country. These lawns act as ‘green deserts’, leading to the loss of habitat for pollinators and vanishing biodiversity. Adding to the problem, pesticides used for lawn care kill not only weeds, but also bees and other insects.
Lawn mowing also plays a big role in air-pollution as a lawn trimmer’s two stroke engine produces 11x more pollution than a car’s.
Today, Poland uses over 40 million liters of gasoline (costing 2 billion PLN) to care for these lawns.
According to research by Hallmann et al. (2017), there has been a „more than 75% decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass” – this negative trend breaks the food chain, affecting all the species, including humans with their food production system.
Eco-friendly meadows instead of ‘green desert’ lawns in all public spaces
Converting lawns into diverse meadows increases biodiversity by 60-70% while reducing CO2 emissions 3-fold. Laka has already converted 1 mln square meters of municipal lawns into meadows and completed projects with major municipalities (Warsaw, Krakow, etc). We plan to convert 4 mln square meters and be 100% self-reliant in seed production by 2024.
Laka’s advantages include know-how in the execution of major municipal projects, strong track-record and unique offer. Municipalities like to minimise risk by working with known entities. Laka also offers special seed mixes for city purposes and its patented coating makes the seeds more durable and easier to sprout in city environment.
Laka created unique seed packages with patented coating for various kinds of meadows (for example a special anti-smog mix) and an end-to-end service process of installing and managing them for municipal clients.
The company helps municipalities switch from lawns to flower meadows, helping reduce air pollution and restore natural, biodiverse habitats. This work consists of two interrelated components: end-to-end meadow planning and maintenance services as well as the production of a wide variety of specialty seeds. Poland has 100,000 hectares of lawns that could be converted into meadows.
Products and services
Seed mixes and seed production
Laka has started own production to prepare the seeds and mixes (currently 20% of seeds are Laka’s own; 80% come from external producers). Harvesting is done by hand and with machinery. After cleaning and drying the seeds, they are stored in a suitable storage area.
Laka’s USP includes covering the seed with special coating and creating specialized seed mixes (eg. a mix for pollinators, the anti-smog Smogovka mix, etc). Packaging takes place at Laka’s warehouse. Each of the 50 g packages contains 25-30 varieties of wild plants.
End-to-end services for municipalities of planning, designing, sowing, and managing wildflower meadows
Laka establishes the connection with a municipality to assess local needs and budgets. We visit the site and see it in-person to create the tailored design. Once contract is signed, we order seeds and prepare the chosen mix.
We clear and prepare the area, create proper seed beds, and sow the seeds. Laka provides ongoing maintenance for the period agreed upon in the contract. The upkeep includes weeding, watering, mowing, etc.
Maciej Podyma Founder, CEO Paladin. Biologist. Main contact with officials and decision-makers. Ashoka fellow
In the upper row, from the left:
Piotr Kotliński Head of Services Specialist. Horticulturist, expert in flower meadow setting-up and care
Agnieszka Nowak Office and Communications Support. Internal playmaker coordinating everyone’s actions, head of CSR
Natalia Podyma Online shop Mastermind. Plant expert experienced in on-line sales
Rajmund Scholtz Plant Production Druid. Green-thumbed plant producer. Chief of seed stock
Bartosz Zwoliński Services Specialist. Horticulturist, expert in flower meadow setting-up and care
Arkadiusz Przybysz Researcher, anti-smog mix (not an employee) Academic with achievements in the domain of PM capturing by plants
Warsaw University of Life Sciences Cooperation in research on anti-smog meadow 'Smogovka’
Municipality of Warsaw Major meadow projects execution, environmental education
Municipality of Krakow Major meadow projects execution, environmental education
Warsaw University Botanic Garden Consultations, education
BNP Paribas Environmental education of employees, major CSR events, mutual promotional campaigns
Skanska Community project sponsor
CitiBank CSR events
Coca-Cola CSR events
Smogathon Finalist Global competition for smog-fighting innovation
Chivas Venture National Finalist International competition for social enterprises
Polish Ministry of Development Winner Dobry Pomysł / Great Idea competition for promising social enterprises
Foundation of Polish Family Businesses Winner Award in Small Business Category of renowned competition for Polish micro-businesses
Ashoka Fellow International organization affiliating social entrepreneurs
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