The Carbon Footprint of Cut Flowers
In 2011 when I began The Good Flower Company it was very difficult to find locally grown flowers. I’d recently completed a foundation degree in Environmental Education at Bicton College. Whilst studying I became very interested in my own carbon footprint and the impact of everything that I bought, including flowers.
Only recently has a study been completed by Rebecca Swinn comparing the carbon footprint between imported and local flowers. Rebecca calculated that one typical imported bouquet from the supermarket has the same carbon footprint as a flight from London to Birmingham! Calculated at 32.5kg of CO2 for a typical bouquet of Lilies, roses and gypsophila grown in Holland. Flowers grown in Kenya surprisingly, slightly less, at 31.132kg CO2. It seems the heated greenhouses in Holland are equivalent to flying flowers over from Kenya.
The good news is, a bunch of British grown flowers (from supermarkets & florists) produces 10% of the carbon emissions produced by both Dutch and Kenyan grown flowers at 3.287kg of CO2, whilst your local flower farmer bunch of flowers is typically 1.71kg CO2 – less than 5% of Kenyan/Dutch flowers. “Emission hotspots” in the study are water use, transport, heating and electricity”.
At The Good Flower Company, the highest carbon emissions will be from the courier transport for my Cornish flowers. The local flowers, I either grow myself “off grid” with solar power and my own water. Or I collect flowers from other local growers in my electric car (charged by my solar panels).
So the flowers that you buy from me, will be even less than the typical 1.71kg CO2 of a local flower farmer.
Am I the Greenest flower farmer in the country? I’d love to be able to make that claim!