Bloom & Wild
29/04/2024

Surprising someone by sending flowers – without feeling guilty

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Everyone enjoys bringing joy to their loved ones. One easy way to do this is by giving them a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Even if you can't visit that special someone in person, you can order flowers online and have them delivered to their doorstep. But can you do this without adding to your carbon footprint? 

Keep your eyes open when choosing a florist 

As with any decision, it's worth doing a little research before choosing a florist. There are many factors that determine whether or not flowers are sustainable. These include where the flowers come from and how they are cultivated. The conditions in which the growers work, as well as how plants are shipped and harvested, play an essential role. To find out how sustainable it really is to buy flowers online, we took a closer look at Bloom & Wild, a portfolio company of the growth capital provider Burda Principal Investments. 

Where do the flowers come from? 

Aron Gelbard, founder and CEO of the online flower delivery service Bloom & Wild, explains to all those who are convinced that the rose or snapdragon has to travel as short a distance as possible before it reaches the recipient: "The carbon footprint of a flower grown in a warmer climate and flown in is four to six times less carbon intensive than growing similar flowers in fossil fuel-heated greenhouses in Europe." Unlike other retailers, Bloom & Wild buys its flowers directly from the growers, who ship them directly to customers the next day. By doing so, the company avoids up to six intermediariesthat a flower might pass through before it is available for sale in a high street florist. By working directly with growers, Bloom & Wild is also able to support them in their journey towards sustainability: For example, they support them with tools to measure their carbon footprint and a guide to sustainability certification. The online delivery service also pays premiums to workers on Fairtrade-certified farms, supporting both the workers and their communities. This money goes directly to the workers' cooperatives and is managed by them to be used for education, health and other initiatives. 

So how do the flowers get to their destination? 

In a nutshell, well packaged in a recyclable cardboard box, as is all the packaging material inside. Gift ribbons, greeting cards and packaging boxes are made from recycled materials and Bloom & Wild produces zero residual waste from its packaging. Any additional emissions are offset. 

What do lilies have to do with data and analytics? 

Forecasting plays an important role at Bloom & Wild: "With smart data teams and tools, we can reduce the surplus to a minimum. This is an important aspect of sustainability in an industry where the surplus can be as high as 40%. As with any forecast, we can’t always get it 100% right. But we always aim for 95% or more each month," says Aron, adding that Bloom & Wild's short supply chain allows it to significantly reduce overstocks. And what happens to the leftovers? "We work hard to make sure they don't end up in the landfill for example by holding an eco-sale or donating the leftovers to charity.”  

In addition, all bouquets are designed with a carbon budget. Bloom & Wild calculates the carbon emissions of each stem used and adds this to the emissions of the delivery. "We use these budgets to reduce our carbon footprint year on year," explains Aron. There are also Fairtrade bouquets made from 100% Fairtrade flowers. 

What is sustainable and what is not? More transparency with B Corp 

However, who has the time (and inclination) to spend hours researching all these factors? After all, ordering flowers online shouldn't take any longer than visiting your local high street florist. The B Corp certification is a tool that simplifies it all: it is a global movement of companies that are all doing their best to change the world in a sustainable way, with the B standing for 'benefit for all'. 

Bloom & Wild has passed this with flying colours: "To qualify for B Corp certification points are awarded across all areas of a business’ operations and the total score must be over 80. We are proud to have achieved a score of 106.5!” Every single team was involved in the application process, making it a tremendous team effort, as Aron describes: "It was amazing to see how keen people were to pitch in as there is a real intrinsic motivation from our teams to work on sustainability.” 

This has not diminished since the certification: All teams work on achieving company-wide sustainability goals based on quarterly targets. 

You can find further information on B Corp and Bloom & Wild's sustainability strategy here.

 

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