At The Hiden Collective we source just ethical and locally grown flowers but why is this?
We live on a globalised planet and the flower industry is no exception.
Flowers can fly as fast as ever from the country where they have been grown (including Italy, Spain, Israel, Kenya, Colombia etc) to Holland where they will be sold on the largest flower market in the world.
The journey of the flowers will then continue when we are able to place an order with our wholesalers in Holland and they will be able to deliver directly to our studio approximately in less than 20 hours even in these Brexit times.
Let’s say we would like to cut emissions from the flowers flight from the country where the flowers are produced to Holland, we could also order directly from Colombia, Ecuador or Kenia and we would receive the flowers within 1 ½-2 days.
Really impressive but not very good for the environment.
And this is a little part of the whole picture.
Do you know that not all the flowers are grown equal?
Have you thought about ‘sustainability within the flower industry?
Water use, fertilisers use, labour conditions and kgCO2e/stem are issues to consider in cut flowers cultivation.
For example if we are looking at kgCO2e/stem, emissions are found to be highest for Dutch lilies, followed by Kenyan gypsophila, Dutch roses and Kenyan roses.
Emissions are significantly lower for lilies, snapdragons and alstromeria produced by commercial-scale and small-scale flower growers in the UK.
Emission hotspots are transport, heating and electricity use.
We are aware that pressure from buyers and supermarkets have increased environmental and ethical standards in Kenyan floriculture, though concerns remain over labour conditions and fair access to water resources. For consumers, emission savings are greatest through purchasing British-grown bouquets and stems with longer vase life.
The FLOWERS FROM THE FARM association has done a study and they have been able to quantify the kgCO2e/stem.
The results should be very useful in evidencing claims that British Grown flowers have a much lower carbon footprint than any other flowers.
Emissions per stem
- Dutch Lily: 3.478 Kg CO2
- Kenyan Gypsophila: 3.211 Kg CO2
- Dutch Roses: 2.437 Kg CO2
- Kenyan Roses: 2.407 Kg CO2
- English Lily: 0.819 Kg CO2(approx. 1/4 of Dutch lily)
- English Snapdragon (or any outdoor, locally grown flower) 0.114 Kg CO2per stem
- English Alstromeria: 0.052 Kg CO2
Generally, the emissions saved by growing outdoors in Kenya are cancelled out by fertiliser use and air freight emissions. Dutch greenhouse grown flowers remain high CO2 due to highly automated systems and relatively inefficient heating and lighting, plus several hundred miles transport.
Emissions per bouquet:
Also the Flowers from the farm study has highlighted the quantity of Kg/CO2 per a bouquet sourced at a UK supermarket as follows:
- 5 Kenyan roses + 3 Dutch Lily + 3 Kenyan Gypsophila - 31.132 Kg Co2
- 5 Dutch Roses + 3 Dutch Lily + 3 Kenyan Gypsophila - 32.252 Kg CO2
- 5 outdoor grown Uk Snapdragons + 3 Uk Lily + 3 Uk Alstromeria - 3.287 Kg CO2
- 15 stems mixed outdoor UK grown flowers, grown and sold locally (eg to Booths Supermarket, Lancashire)- 1.71 Kg CO2
Whilst there is little difference between the Dutch and Kenyan grown bouquets, and there appears to be some truth to the claim often made that Kenyan roses have a lower carbon footprint than Dutch, the carbon footprint of the nearest British flowers option using commercially grown Lilies and Alstromeria is approximately 10% of either the Dutch or Kenyan bouquet.
A locally outdoor grown bouquet of mixed British flowers is estimated to have even lower CO2 emissions, around 5% of the Dutch or Kenyan bouquet.