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Sustainability

Sustainability

Over the last few years, we have made some exciting environmental progress. However, there are many aspects of our business which have negative environmental implications. To tackle these, we have embarked on a 6-12 month sustainability project.

The aim of the project is to research the current environmental impact of the business, explore ways to reduce this and implement the relevant changes. We hope to approach the subject in a way that is well-informed, realistic, and honest. Rosie, our Sustainability Officer, is working full-time on this. If you would like to contact her, please email rosie@scarletandviolet.co.uk. Emma, our Accounts Manager, is working on a carbon footprint calculation and exploring whether there are business accreditations we should be working towards.

This text outlines some of the changes we have made, the areas we plan to improve and the challenges we are facing.

Our Flowers

We have estimated that the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint is the flowers themselves.

In order to provide flowers throughout the year, we import many of our flowers from overseas. To avoid the emissions associated with transporting these flowers, we buy British flowers as the season allows. From September 2023 to March 2024, 12% of our flowers and foliage were British grown. The British flower growing seasons roughly runs from May to October, so we are hoping that this percentage will be higher in the second half of the year. Once we have collected a full year of data, we plan to use this as a benchmark to build on each year.

We are also researching the environmental impact of our imported flowers to ensure when we import flowers, we are choosing the most socially and environmentally conscious options.

Certifications such as Rainforest Alliance, MPS ABC and FlorVerde guarantee that flower growers meet certain environmental and social criteria. For example, farms with FlorVerde certification are prohibited from using methyl bromide to disinfect their soil; this is a chemical which is damaging to both human and planetary health. We have created a list of farms we regularly buy from, and their certifications. This means that we can prioritise buying from farms which have met accredited sustainability requirements. This list is continually updated; if other florists would like to use this resource, we are happy to share it.

Packaging and Waste

We try to limit the amount of waste we generate. The BCorp certified recycling company First Mile, a ensure that nothing that goes in the bin at Scarlet and Violet ends up in landfill. The following link contains more information on the end destinations of our waste: https://www.thefirstmile.co.uk/sustainability-report

To reduce the amount of packaging we use, we encourage our customers to bring in their own vases or jars for us to fill with flowers (unfortunately, we are unable to lend vases to customers). Customers who live near-by may also take home their flowers without any wrapping, or just in paper.

It is important that flowers are not out of water for too long. We send out flowers in glass vases, jam jars and tins; these are reusable and recyclable. Some, but not all our glass vases are made from recycled glass – we will be able to direct you to which ones. Our tins are made in London, using solar power, with metal which is around 30% recycled content.

Alternatively, our flowers are wrapped in cellophane, which is not recyclable in typical, domestic recycling bins. We are working hard to find an alternative, so that we can remove plastic from our products altogether. In the meantime, if you are able to bring the cellophane back to the shop, it will be taken away by First Mile and made into black bin bags.

We no longer use ribbon on our bunches, we use a biodegradable, string alternative. We only use Oasis floral foam if absolutely necessary; please give us a call or pop into the shop if you would like to order a funeral arrangement and we can explain how this is achieved without floral foam.

Energy

We use Octopus, a 100% renewable energy provider, in the shop. We also use LED lightbulbs to reduce our energy consumption.

Our position with sustainability is very much work in progress, and we plan to update this regularly as the project develops.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear your feedback, questions, and ideas.

Thank you,

Vic, Emma and Rosie