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Flower Industry Carbon Foot Print

by Dave Marshall on October 1st


The impact of our day-to-day lives has resulted in a growing awareness of the need to protect the environment from the harming effects of the carbon footprint, notably the amount of greenhouse gasses produced daily through burning fossil fuels for energy consumption and transportation. The cut flower trade contributes to these issues, where a bunch of cut-flowers that has been flown half way round the world contributes significantly to the high CO2 emission from freight planes.

Acknowledging the large carbon footprint that the flower trade incurs, flower giant Interflora has taken steps to become Carbon Neutral through undertaking a carbon emissions assessment, where the company's carbon emissions and the foot print of flowers from importer through to the delivery to the customer will be assessed by the Carbon Neutral Company.

The Kenya Flower Council, a private voluntary association of independent growers and exporters of cut-flowers that was formed in 1996, aims to develop strategies that will help the safe production of cut-flowers in Kenya whilst simultaneously protecting the natural environment through implementing acceptable local and international standards. Back home, supermarket giant Tesco recently announced that it would be importing less than 1% of its merchandise in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling more, cutting packaging, reducing airfreight (which produces the highest CO2 emission per ton kilometre) as well as introducing 'carbon counting labelling.'

A new system was introduced in Europe in 2004 called Fair Flowers and Plants which aimed to help eliminate injustices such as overuse of pesticides, child labour, health and safety and decimations in the global flower industry. The heightened awareness of the contribution of the flower trade to global carbon emissions has resulted in some supermarkets buying directly from growers as well as demanding greater adherence to ethical trading standards.

Tags: cut-flower, environment, emissions, carbon, ethical

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