COP26: One Year On

The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 


What is COP26? 

When was COP26? 

Why was COP26 “the most important COP since Paris?” 

What happened at COP26? 

Benholm at COP26 



What is COP26? 

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority. 

In 1995 the first COP was held in Berlin and since then the urgency for action against climate change continues to grow in importance. COP26 marked the 26th time countries gathered under the convention. Hence, COP26.  



When was COP26? 

COP26 was held in Glasgow from 31st October until 12th November and was the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted. 

The conference was held at The Scottish Event Campus (SEC), Glasgow; a Gold Green Tourism Award winner for its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its operations. 

World leaders arrived in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and civil society groups for fourteen days of talks.  



Why was COP26 the “most important COP since Paris”?  

Back in 2015, at COP21, for the first time ever, something momentous happened: every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees, to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these aims. The Paris Agreement was born.  

The commitment to aim for 1.5 degrees is important because every fraction of a degree of warming will result in the loss of many more lives lost and livelihoods damaged. The Paris Agreement set out that every 5 years countries must set out increasingly ambitious climate action. This meant that, by 2020, countries needed to submit or update their plans for reducing emissions, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).  

This made the run up to last year’s summit in Glasgow (due to take place in 2020, but delayed by a year due to the pandemic) a critical moment in the mission to keep the hope of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees alive.  


What happened at COP26?  

Prior to COP26 the UK worked with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. As the Presidents of COP26, the UK’s role was to act as an impartial chair in bringing all Parties (individual countries and the EU, which operates as a group) to an agreement by consensus.  

On 13 November 2021, COP26 concluded in Glasgow with all countries agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement. The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, meant that 1.5C remains in sight and scales up action on dealing with climate impacts, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts. 

COP27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November. Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet.  

Benholm at COP 26 

We are committed to preserving the environment so we were honoured to be awarded the official plant supplier at COP26. This further demonstrated our ability to facilitate large-scale events, having successfully supplied a range of bespoke and engaging displays for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.  

COP26 was hosted very close to our Head Office in Falkirk – just 33 miles away from the COP26 event venue The Scottish Event Campus. 

As the official plant supplier at COP26 we provided: 

  • Planting and flowers for the stands 
  • Plating for the grounds, common areas and stage backdrops 
  • Created a lush green environment where climate discussion could be productive and meaningful 
  • Fresh flowers and greenery to honourable guests and speakers 
  • Throughout the entire event we had a team member from Benholm Group on site to ensure all displays were kept in fresh condition. 

Many of our plants that we had at COP26 were planted using our own-brand, peat-free, eco-friendly Enviroculture to add some vibrant greenery in and around the conference.  

At Benholm we design, create and install living walls, plants and flowers for sectors including corporate, hospitality and interior design across Scotland and the UK.  

We thrive on the creativity required to bring events to life. Are you planning an important event that would benefit from lush greenery? We’re delighted to have designed and installed unforgettable plant and floral displays for some of the biggest brands in the world. From major sporting events, annual occasions and conferences to graduation ceremonies and trade shows, we’ve helped customers amp up their events when they really needed it. 


Contact us to discuss the endless possibilities our bespoke branded plant and floral designs could bring to your next brand event and get a free tailored quote. 




Find out more about the conference here.

See more examples of previous events we have worked on  

Visit our Sustainability page


Plants for Profit: The Undervalued Role of Plants in Retail

If you’ve ever been to a retail store, you may have noticed that the atmosphere can be a bit… intense. It’s not hard to imagine why. Retail environments are often loud, crowded, and full of sensory overload. But what if we told you there was an easy and relatively cheap solution that could alleviate some of that stress, whilst also increasing sales and the amount customers are willing to pay for a product? 


In the world of retail, subtle cues are everywhere. From the music to the lighting to the layout of the store, all of these things influence how a consumer perceives a shop and their experience. These subtle cues present are often processed on an unconscious level making it difficult to establish their effectiveness.  

That is why we’re so excited about Margrét G. Kristjánsson’s study: “Greenery in the Indoor Retail Environment.”  

The aim of the study was to determine whether the presence of greenery in the indoor retail settings: 

  1. positively influenced consumers’ environmental perceptions 
  1. increased probable shopping behaviour  
  1. increased the consumer’s willingness to pay for clothing items  

306 participants were presented with pictures of clothing items in retail settings which featured no plants, a medium number of plants and many plants. Participants then answered a questionnaire, and an average score was applied to each category of retail settings.   

Here’s what she found: 


The store setting is visually pleasing and desirable 

1 – strongly disagree 2 – disagree 3 – neutral 4 – agree 5 – strongly agree 

No plants: 3.48 Medium Plants: 3.62 Many Plants: 3.65 


The clothes in the score appear to be of high quality 

1 – strongly disagree 2 – disagree 3 – neutral 4 – agree 5 – strongly agree 

No plants: 3.36 Medium Plants: 3.36 Many Plants: 3.44 


How often would you like to visit the store 

1 – 1-2 times a year 2 – 3-5 times a year 3 – once a month 4 – 2 to 3 times a month 5 – once or more a week 

No plants: 1.61 Medium Plants: 1.63 Many Plants: 1.66 


How much would you be willing to pay for the shirt 

5 prices ranges were given with one being the lowest and 5 the highest 

No plants: 3.54 Medium Plants: 3.65 Many Plants: 3.84 


How much would you be willing to pay for the purse 

5 prices ranges were given with one being the lowest and 5 the highest 

No plants: 2.25 Medium Plants: 2.27 Many Plants: 2.33


Although the scores may look largely similar, there is an unmistakable correlation between the use of plants in retail and customer behaviours. These marginal differences in behaviour repeated consistently over the course of a year can really add up and have a measurable impact which majorly outweighs the cost of investment in plants.   

So how can retailers capitalize on this? By adding plants to their stores! There are many ways you can incorporate plants into your store. At Benholm, we offer bespoke plant and floral designs that transform any retail space into a happy place, where customers and staff can shop and work in inspired relaxation. 

With our incredible range of plants and florals for retail, as well as green wall options, it can be hard to know where to begin. Luckily, our design team has worked with countless retailers across Scotland and the wider UK. They will bring your retail vision to life with plant and floral retail design that perfectly complements both what you do and the space you do it in. 

We also know how busy life in retail can be. You have enough to do each day delivering the best service possible for your customers, so we want to deliver the same to you. That’s why we offer a choice of reliable ongoing plant and floral maintenance plans for our retail store clients. So you and your team don’t need to lift a finger, and your plants and florals will deliver the same wow-factor for every customer who walks through your doors. 

Biophilic design in any space has positive effects, but using plants and flowers in retail spaces can be especially beneficial. With Biophilic retail design, we can create a relaxing retail experience that encourages shoppers to stay longer, feel happier, and ultimately increase their spend per visit. 

Let Your Creativity Blossom. Contact our design team to discuss the endless possibilities our plant and florals for retail could bring to your store and get a free tailored quote. 



Greenery in the Indoor Retail Environment: The Effect of Greenery on Environment Perceptions, Probable Behaviour, and Willingness to Spend by Margrét G. Kristjánsson 


Benholm to support Scotland’s Tourism Industry Conference 2022

Scotland’s Tourism Industry Conference is back for 2022. With a packed programme, the event is designed to celebrate, empower and further propel the industry into the future in line with the national ambition to be leaders in 21st century tourism. 

The tourism industry landscape has changed significantly over recent years, prompting huge change, unprecedented challenges but also new opportunities. 

We’re huge advocates of tourism in Scotland and are delighted to be once again dressing the event with an abundance of our magnificent plants and flowers to delight everyone attending and make the venue look even more fabulous.  

This year’s event will also feature an exhibitor hall where we’ll be showcasing our industry leading range of planting solutions loved by some of Scotland’s most iconic and popular hospitality venues. If you see us come and say hello! We’d love to meet you and talk about biophilic design, plants, flowers, and how we can help your business grow. 

The much-awaited event of the year, the biggest of its kind in Scotland, is the perfect opportunity to re-connect with industry peers, make new connections, gain invaluable and actionable learnings from expert speakers, share knowledge and be inspired. 

The conference will take place at the EICC on the 9th and 10th November promises to be an unmissable event for anyone at any level who works, supports or is interested in the tourism industry. 

For more information about the event have a look at their website: 

We hope to see you there! 


Benholm crowned Most Innovative Commercial Plant and Floral Designs Company

We are delighted to be recognised by SME News as their Most Innovative Commercial Plant and Floral Designs Company for 2022.

Now in its seventh year, the UK Enterprise Awards is a highly regarded awards programme shown the best and the brightest SMEs in the UK.

The SME News research team casts their final judgment, based on various criteria including: client dedication, innovation, business growth, longevity, online reputation, customer feedback and business performance.

Benholm can use real or artificial plants and flowers to enhance any space. You can see a stunning array of projects on our gallery

Benholm Sales Manager, Michael Byne, welcomed the victory saying:

It’s reassuring that our focus on being creative, caring and always with a can-do attitude is yielding great results. We’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in some amazing jobs with some fantastic teams in 2022.


Do plants in commercial spaces need to be certified for fire safety?

Fire certification standards for plants can be a tricky subject to navigate as they are not explicitly mentioned on government guidance. 

In this article, we’ll address some of the most common questions we receive to ensure you have all the information you need before arranging an installation. 


What is fire certification? 

Fire certification is a process that tests and certifies materials against specific standards. It’s used to determine whether a material is suitable for use in high-risk environments like schools and hospitals. The purpose of fire certification is to ensure that the products you use meet strict safety standards and will perform as expected in the event of a fire. 


What does it mean if a plant has been certified? 

A plant that has been certified means that it has passed rigorous testing procedures and met all the requirements set out by relevant authorities.  


Flame resistant or fireproof: What’s the difference? 

Flame resistant and fireproof are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. 

Flame resistant means the plant will not catch fire, but it can still melt or burn if exposed to extreme heat over time. Fireproof means that the product will not catch fire under any circumstances. 

When buying an artificial plant, tree, or floral display, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how temperature-resistant your purchase is! If you’re concerned about longevity and quality, get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to assist.  


Are fire certifications for plants a legal requirement? 

The short answer is no.  

In the UK, fire certifications for furnishings are only a legal requirement in certain settings such as council buildings and hospitals. These assessments are needed so that any potential issues can be identified and dealt with before they become an issue.  

If you are unsure which category your building falls under, we recommend speaking with your fire safety officer or building manager. 

Although fire certifications are not always legally required, failure to use flame retardant furnishings is not only potentially dangerous for building inhabitants but can also invalidate building insurance in the event of a fire.  


Are all Benholm artificial plants flame-retardant? 

We offer both standard and fire-retardant plants.  

If you have a specific requirement for the type of artificial plants you need, please bring it up during our initial conversation. We will look to discuss what your requirements are and the range of plants we can offer should you need your plants to be certified. 


Inherently Fire Retardant vs Surface Treated Foliage 

We offer two types of flame-retardant foliage: foliage that has been treated, and inherently flame-retardant fabrics.  

Inherently Fire Retardant foliage has flame resistance built into their chemical structures, so they’re intrinsically non-combustible will remain retardant for the life of the plant 

Surface treated flame-resistant artificial plants can be certified if done by a professional company and the foliage is compatible. Surface treated plants have either been dipped into a flame-resistant solution or sprayed which can dissipate over time. For this reason, professional treatment is recommended to guarantee that the spray or solution has been applied evenly and that the initial coating remains sufficient to resist the spread of flames.


What certifications can you offer? 

Our flame-retardant foliage is rigorously tested and certified to BS 5867: Part 2: Type B, and BS EN 13501-1 standards. 

BS 5867: Part 2: Type B applies to the standards for curtains, drapes, and fabrics that are used in hotels, public buildings, and offices.  

BS EN13501-1 is the classification of construction products and building elements that enables certain products to be CE marked. This marker signifies that a productcomplies with relevant safety,healthor environmentalregulations across the European Economic Area(EEA). 

On certain products you may also find the familiar CE marking which indicates that a product has been assessed by the manufacturer and deemed to meet EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements.   


How are certifications achieved and what’s involved in testing? 

BS 5867: Part 2: Type B involves testing material placed on a metal frame and then exposed to a flame for 15 seconds. This test is carried out both before and after cleaning. The fabric will then pass the test if: 

  • The flame does not spread to any edges of the fabric 
  • No burning debris falls from the fabric 

BS EN 13501-1 measures material resistance to collapse, fire penetration and the transfer of excessive heat. The five test methods used depending upon the end use application are: 

  • Non-combustibility test                                          
  • Calorific potential test                                          
  • Single burning item test                                       
  • Ignitability test                                                     
  • Burning behaviour, flooring + radiant source   


Do we provide clients with a copy of these certifications? 

Yes, we’re happy to share copies of these certifications with you. Please let us know if you require them and we’ll provide them for your records. 


Do we offer a warranty? 

All certified artificial foliage comes with a lifetime warranty for its inherently fire-retardant properties. 

We know that your business is important to you, and we want to make sure that you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that our products are safe for use in your space. 


Living walls 

Living walls have been gaining popularity over the past few years, and many people are now using them as part of their interior design plans. This trend has led to more people considering fire safety plants when they’re designing their living walls. 

The highest possible fire rating for a living wall is Class B-s2-d0, although you may see occasionally see the higher A2 certification showing on some supplier websites.  

The A2 certification relates exclusively to the module in which the plants are held, not the whole living wall system. As soon as substrate and plants are added to the module it changes to a combustible category which is why the B-s2-d0 certification is the highest rating a living wall can achieve.  This B rating applies to the whole living wall system – the module and all of its contents. 

That being said, living plants are widely accepted to present much less risk than most interior furnishings and any risk is diminished further with regular maintenance. Throughout the creation, installation, and maintenance of our living walls, we are fully compliant with the health and safety regulations of the venues we work with.  We also ensure our living walls do not obstruct any means of warning or escape in the event of fire, and that they do not interfere with fire-fighting facilities and access points needed for the fire service are kept clear.   

For further information on living wall fire regulations, ANS Global have created a useful guide for interior designers and architects which can be downloaded here. 

Artificial Green Walls and Moss Walls 

If you are looking for a beautiful and safe way to add green walls and moss walls to your space, our artificial green walls and moss walls are the perfect alternative. 

Our artificial green walls and moss walls can also be created with inherent flame-retardant properties for settings where safety is paramount. 


Get in touch 

Looking to arrange an installation or have a question that’s not covered in this blog? A member of our friendly team is at your service. Whether you’re looking for installation advice or just have a general question, we can answer it. We are here to help. 





Benholm clients go for gold at the BCO awards

Having already been crowned Regional winners in their respective categories; we would like to wish our clients good luck ahead of tonight’s British Council for Offices National Awards in London.

We are immensely proud to have played our part in the creation of these wonderful spaces and know that each will make a worthy winner! 

Cadworks Glasgow – Innovation category

Onyx – Refurbished/Recycled Workplace category

Capital Square – Commercial Workplace category

One of the BCO’s primary objectives is to define excellence in corporate spaces. As part of this objective their annual Awards Programme provides public recognition for top quality design and functionality and a benchmark for excellence in workplaces.

The Programme acknowledges innovation and focuses external attention on examples of best practice. Established in 1992, the competition is considered to be one of the most prestigious events in the corporate real estate calendar and attracts over 1,200 key players in the office industry sector.

Click here to find out more about the work we do in the corporate sector, and discover the plant and floral possibilities for your workplace.


Noise reduction: Moss Walls vs Acoustic Panels

During a recent CPD session, we were asked by an interior designer how the sound absorption qualities of Nordik Moss compares with other acoustic materials. This was an interesting question to raise and one which we have yet to see explicitly addressed anywhere else. We felt we could write a whole blog on the subject – so that’s exactly what we’ve done.

In this blog we explain how the acoustic qualities of materials can be measured and compared, as well as considering the wider value of installing a moss wall in your space.


There are lots of reasons for wanting to improve the acoustics in your interior: so you can create a more productive office space, a more intimate dining experience at your restaurant, or perhaps even a more relaxing atmosphere for customers to browse in your shop.

As you compare options to address the noise challenges in your space, one of the most important numbers to familiarise yourself with is the NRC rating.


NRC ratings explained

The Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a representation of the decay rate of sound, or how much sound is absorbed by an object or surface, compared to that rate in a standard reverberant room without the object or surface in it. While most often applied to specific materials, such as panels specifically designed to improve the acoustics of a space, every material can be given an NRC rating, ranging from 0 to 1.0. In some cases, materials may achieve NRC values greater than 1.00. This is a shortcoming of the test procedure and a limitation of how acousticians define a square unit of absorption, and not a characteristic of the material itself.

Typically, NRC ratings are viewed as a percentage. For example, a material with an NRC rating of 0.60 means 60% of the sound energy which comes into contact with that specific material is absorbed, and the remaining 40% is reflected back into the room to create noise.

Materials with coefficients of 0.50 and above are generally classified as “sound absorbing”, while those with coefficients of 0.20 and below are “sound reflecting”. Generally, we can perceive the difference between two materials where the sound absorption coefficient values differ by a value of at least 0.1.

How Noise Reduction Coefficients are calculated

There are several methods used to determine NRCs, but one of the most common is the ASTM Standard Test Method for Sound Absorption.

To test NRCs using this method, a special sound test lab room that’s been designed specifically for measuring sound absorption is used. The room is fitted with a microphone and equipment that measures sound frequencies.

  • To begin the test, an initial measurement is taken by transmitting a noise signal into the room and measuring how much sound was absorbed.
  • Then, once the initial measurement has been taken, the product is again placed in that same test lab and its sound absorption is measured at four different frequencies.
  • Once those measurements are taken and averaged together, the NRC is calculated by rounding off to the nearest 0.05.

NRC rating: Acoustic Panels vs Moss Walls

Before we take a look at their respective NRC ratings, it is important to acknowledge that whilst NRCs provide a good indication of a materials absorption performance, overall absorption performance cannot be determined by the NRC alone.

Acoustical Surfaces explain this best using the example of carpets which have a relatively low NRC rating (0.15-0.30) but often cover an entire floor and therefore have a large influence on reducing sound reflection strength within a room. Despite this, carpet alone is usually not enough to reduce echo and reverberation to a desirable level, and it is not always be feasible to use in an environment like a gymnasium or classroom.

Acoustic panels typically have an NRC rating between 0.85 and 1.00, depending on the quality of the material used and its density.

Moss walls typically rate around 0.70 but there are some varieties that perform much better than others. Reindeer moss has been proven to reduce noise levels by up to 10dB with an absorption rating of 0.96. This moss is dense and tightly packed making it ideal for improving acoustics in any interior environment.


Beyond The Acoustics 

When considering products with similar NRC scores, it is worthwhile to consider which will provide the most overall value in your space.  

As businesses tackle the problem of trying to get workers back in the office, the cost-of-living crisis places added pressure on already stretched hospitality industry and the high street continues to struggle – spaces need to feel inspiring more than ever.  

The design possibilities with Nordik Moss are endless. You can frame it like a picture, transform a whole wall, or even incorporate it into furniture. We can create patterns, words, or logos, on flat, contoured or 3D surfaces, and you can choose from a beautiful spectrum of colours. Whatever your vision, our team can put it on the wall, or even on wheels, for all to see. 

Nordik Moss is a preserved natural product. It doesn’t grow, so you do not have to worry about watering, trimming, or sunlight. Just sit back and enjoy. Plus, it’s fire safe, resistant to discolouration and hypoallergenic. And if your Nordik Moss ever needs a little refurbishment, we can provide a speedy one-off repair service. 

Nordik Moss includes a range of different natural mosses to choose from. It’s a sustainable material, harvested by hand from the forest floor, and is 100% biodegradable. We then preserve it using natural minerals, to stop it growing and maintain its fresh look. 



Acoustic panels and moss walls are both great options for treating your space, but if you are looking for something a little more versatile which will give you more ‘bang for your buck’- moss walls could be the ideal solution. 

Our teams carefully craft your bespoke moss installations by hand, tuft by tuft, to bring your vision to life. With its flexibility and longevity, Nordik Moss can be used in just about any interior space. It is light weight and easy to install, with no complex wall structures required. 


Get in Touch 

To chat with a member of our team in more detail about the acoustic needs for your space or to obtain a free quotation, call us today on 01324 861300. 


Additional Resources