Sustainable flower wholesaler - How Hoek flowers contributes

Sustainability

7 min

Sustainability

09 October 2023

by Isabella

As we all may know, sustainability is a huge worldwide topic within the floral industry, and at Hoek flowers we try to contribute as much as we can! We would like to tell you a bit about what Hoek flowers does for the planet, and the environment, from the smallest details to the bigger picture. From certificates to solar panels and toilet paper, curious about what we have to tell? Read along and you’ll find out!

Sustainable flowers and plants in our webshop

Let’s start this blog off with the most important thing, the flowers, and plants. At Hoek flowers, we collaborate with many growers who comply with the '#FSI basket of standards 2025'. This organization oversees certifications for social and environmentally friendly flower cultivation worldwide. By using the 'specials' filter in our webshop and selecting 'Certificate', you can be assured that the flowers you purchase have been grown responsibly. When you select a product, a screen with detailed information and product specifications will appear. This includes the name of the grower, length, ripeness stage, and, under other supplier information, the sustainability certificate the flower or plant holds. Here's an overview of the environmental labels you can find.

Let’s talk about certificates!

MPS certification

MPS, or Environmental Project for Ornamental Plant Cultivation, is an organization through which growers can demonstrate their sustainable practices. The MPS certification helps companies track their energy and fertilizer consumption to promote environmental awareness. MPS Global GAP is a certificate that demonstrates compliance with Good Agricultural Practices. This means the producer adheres to guidelines for food safety, sustainability, and quality.

Rainforest Alliance

This seal can be found not only on coffee and chocolate, but also on many Colombian flowers. They have been promoting awareness of sustainability and the protection of our planet for over 34 years. In South America, they place a particular emphasis on informing people about the impact of deforestation in the Amazon region. Furthermore, they provide flower growers by offering employment, providing education, food, housing, and healthcare.

Florverde

Florverde Sustainable Flowers, established 20 years ago in Colombia, sets standards for social and sustainable agricultural practices. Any company seeking Florverde certification must be fully transparent. Florverde has implemented procedures to reduce and reuse water and energy consumption and establishes working standards for employees.

Sustainable flower delivery

As the first company in the flowers industry, we are working with re-usable pink (duh) flower boxes. These boxes are for a 100% out of recycled materials… and re-usable up to 200 times! Before we were sending all our flowers in cardboard boxes. Although we did pick the majority up and recycled them, nothing beats this newly invented box. No trees & bees were harmed in the process of making this beauty. And after 200 times of use, the boxes will be fully recycled and 80% of the all the material is being re-used into a new box again! This new way of transporting flowers is going to make such a difference. As with a lot of things in life, this project only is and remains a success if we’re all working together. Therefore, we really need the help of our florists, transport companies and employees. We all need to make a little extra effort. Picking the empty boxes up, cleaning them, re-stacking them and so much more… but in the end, worth it!

A sustainable workplace

Not only our way of sourcing flowers and plants, and delivering them is sustainable, but also the place this all happens in. The building of Hoek flowers is rewarded with a green certificate, since it is built due to the highest standards of sustainable construction. Because of the high insulation values, we managed to significantly reduce the ‘waste’ of heat, as well as the waste of ‘cold’ in our cold rooms & packing area.

100% Gas-free building

The building is also 100% gas-free. Therefore, we do not need natural gas to heat our building, the water we’re using or even the stove in the company restaurant. Since natural gas is a fossil fuel, its combustion leads to lots of CO2 emission. These in turn cause temperatures to rise, warming the earth and leading to significant climate change.

Solar panels

Let’s talk about the roof because there is a lot happening there. Currently, our roof is covered with over 6.700 solar panels! Since not all our seasons are as sunny, we cannot cover the full 100% of our need for energy (yet). For now, we already generate 2.000.000 Kwh a year, which covers 75% of the total energy we use. Our future goal is to cover a 100%... how cool (or better said - hot) would that be?

Our roof and it’s guests

We even think about the birds and the bees because they like flowers and greens too! Since the beginning of 2023, Hoek flowers have had a 4.000 square meter sedum roof, better known as a ‘green roof’. It’s not only the biggest green roof in the area, but also used as research material for the worldwide known team of Naturalis, in collaboration with the University of Leiden. They are researching which greens and mosses do attract the most insects, birds and bees and what type of green roofs are most beneficial to the environment. A roof like the one we have has proved to be extremely good for the surroundings. It purifies the air, and at the same time attracts a lot of insects, birds, and bees. Besides that, the roof helps us to save energy since it is highly isolating our building. A win-win situation.

Small details that make a difference

Coffee, one of the most important things on early mornings. Here at Hoek flowers, we drink quite a few. Since we find it important that suppliers worldwide – whether we talk about flowers or coffee – do get fair prices, all coffee at Hoek flowers is supplied by our local coffee roastery ‘Koffie Lovers’. They only work with Fair Trade certified farms and invest a part of their turnover in local communities to give something back to the countries they do get their coffee beans from.

We even have, and this might be an awkward subject, sustainable toilet paper! It is from a company called ‘The Good Roll’, they make toilet paper out of 100% recycled and bamboo toilet paper. Their mission is to have safe and clean toilets for everyone, and that’s why they donate 50% of their profit to build new toilets in Ghana.

Flying green… Uhm I mean Blue!

Good to know is that the flowers we import, from for example Colombia, are flown by our partner in Blue, KLM. KLM, the Royal Dutch airline, is again rewarded as being the most sustainable and green airline in the world. Also, we found a way to optimize logistics & packing – together with our farms - to reduce the emission per stem to the very minimum. We’re continuously talking to local suppliers about how to reduce the use of plastic and to supplier abroad to see how we can pack and ship more efficiently in order to reduce pollution.

We hope that our sustainable way of working, delivering and sourcing flowers improves only more and more efficiently! Together we can make a difference, no wonder they always say ‘teamwork makes the dreamwork’ ;) We deliver, you create… but as sustainable as possible!

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