Time to smell the sustainable roses!
Bloom & Wild claims to be a sustainably focused company. They produce an annual sustainability report focused on the impact of their company. I believe that the amount of information that is available surrounding how and where the products are made and then transported emphasises the focus that this company has on sustainability. They have tips on their website about how to recycle the packaging from their products and how to act in the most sustainable way once the flowers have died.
Overall I believe that they are trying to act in a sustainable way and are pushing for sustainable change. In comparison to other flower delivery companies it could be argued that they are acting more environmentally friendly than other large brands. Their presence of being a more environmentally friendly company could push other flower delivery companies to follow their lead.
Bloom & Wild produce flower bouquets that are posted and packaged in 100% recyclable packaging. They state that they are aware that growing flowers solely to cut them leaves an environmental impact on the world.
Bloom & Wild claim to grow their flowers responsibly by being careful with their pest control (by only using chemical pesticides as a last resort through preventing their use by having good agricultural practices – the farmers are audited on how many pesticides they use) and by having mindful water systems (they use a hydroponic system – 30% less water as no water drains into the ground and rainwater is harvested). Pesticides are extremely harmful to plants and can harm the organisms surrounding the plants. This can affect the natural habitats associated with where they grow the flowers. The pesticides which sometimes can be used within the growth of Bloom & Wild’s flowers are not disclosed, making it difficult to comment on what affect these pesticides are having on the surrounding area.
Bloom & Wild have started to carbon offset all of their products, with this process starting in 2020. By September 2020, 2.5kg CO2 was offset per bouquet. They have done this by working with the Burn Clean Cookstoves project in Kenya and the Aqua Clara Safe Water project.
For the last five years they have also had no waste at all going to landfill. They incinerate any waste that there is to make energy. This isn’t a process that doesn’t have faults, however it does mean that there is a massive reduction in waste production associated with the company. This links to their 100% recyclable letterbox packaging which is sent to the customer. There are no plastics involved in their packaging. They use: Kraft paper wraps, paper flower food sachets, recyclable plastic plant bags, recycled paper, ribbons made from recycled bottles, recyclable flower nets and vegetable inks. One element which they do not talk about how it is manufactured is their flower food – is this sustainable too?
They are focusing on mapping their emissions across the whole of their supply chain (including Scope 1-3). This includes all of the office emissions, the transportation of their products, growing the flowers and fulfilling the orders. Their aim is to cut back the CO2 emissions associated with each bouquet of flowers to 2.3kg of CO2 in 2021.
The farms in Kenya are trying to promote the return of biodiversity into the area that flowers are being grown. It is said that leopards have been found to be sleeping within the flowers.
To try to reduce air mile, for UK customers they are pushing for only seasonal flowers to be used. They wouldn’t use heated greenhouses to do this as they will only be using seasonal flowers. This would mean that the flowers are not having to be flown across the world to reach someone’s front door.
Any leftover flowers are sold to local florists to the warehouse or are sold in special eco sales to prevent them going to waste. To try to prevent waste they use a forecasting system to predict the amount of flowers they will need for any given time.
59% of the flowers are grown in Europe and 34% in Kenya. They try everything they can to avoid using heated greenhouses. When they can’t grow in Europe without these they then go to their growing processes in Kenya. This is as even with the air freight the carbon footprint of transporting the flowers is less than using a heated greenhouse. When flowers are picked in the UK the flowers only have to travel less than 20 miles to the warehouse where they are packaged and then transported. Only 18% of their flowers are grown in a heated greenhouse and they are trying to reduce that number as their focus in 2021.
The postal workers who transport the flowers are supposedly ‘green couriers’. Bloom & Wild are pushing for an increase in the amount of deliveries made in Electric Vans and push bikes. They want 30% of London deliveries in 2021 to be made by push bike.
The company has also supported social sustainability. This was especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. They donated £214,717 to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal in the UK and to other charities in Germany and France. They do not specifically state how they have added to social sustainable causes before 2020. Though they state (without much detail into their policies) that they support community care projects such as: water aid for the Maasai community, salary support for teachers and school meals. They provide free transport to and from work, have ethical awareness programmes for managers in Kenya, training and development schemes, health awareness training and a subsided food and canteen facilities for all workers. Though I would suggest that when they say all workers they mean all UK workers – so this is an area which could be improved on socially. They have a section in their sustainability report which is focused on how they are going to improve their diversity and inclusion and have committed to producing annual reports on how they are improving this.