Then and now: day-to-day florists supply operations

While Earth Month has now ended, the goal of Florist Supply is to reduce its environmental impact. "Caring for the environment is built into our business philosophy, and we strive to innovate and challenge the status quo every day," they write.

In the final part of our extended Earth Month series, we wanted to highlight some changes Florists Supply has made to our day-to-day general operations over the last three decades.

From a box credit program to our improved delivery times, find out how reducing our environmental impact is good for the environment and good for you.

Having previously explored both our Supplies and Fresh department’s efforts to reduce their environmental impact, part three looks at how we conduct daily business today versus in the past. To be truly environmentally friendly, it is important that we implement solutions in our day-to-day operations.

Our packing boxes used in Cut Flowers and Supplies are now Natural Kraft, which was switched from the old white box with green printing we used to use. Kraft boxes involve no bleaching or dying of the materials and are naturally biodegradable. One thing that has not changed is the return program we offer when you re-use our cut flower packing boxes. Dating back to 1995, each time you bring one of our boxes back, we offer to apply a Box Credit to your account. Over the course of the year, this small credit can save you a significant amount of money. We also offer a return program for the insulated foil wrap required for winter shipping. 

Overall, paper consumption has gone way down with the introduction of email, electronic filings, and electronic payments. This is not unique to Florists Supply, as most businesses prefer to send invoices and customer statements electronically, pay vendors electronically, file documents where possible electronically, etc. Dual computer monitors for office staff have also helped reduce the need for printing documents.

Our branches have separate collection bins for cardboard, garbage, and compost. All unused cardboard boxes and inner cases from incoming shipments are recycled, and our garbage bin pickups are minimal compared to the 1990s.

A few years ago, we discontinued printing any promotional flyers and now rely solely on digital flyers. While we print two catalogs a year, the quantities we print are down considerably as we have asked our customers their preference for receiving a printed copy. 

Reducing the carbon footprint
We have made our delivery routes more efficient while demand has slowed over the years. At one point in Winnipeg, we had two full-time vehicles on the road and four different delivery times that resulted in almost eight delivery runs a day. Today, there are two delivery times with only one vehicle on the road. In some of our cities, we utilize third-party delivery services, which helps cut down the number of vehicles out doing deliveries.

Upgrades to modern energy-efficient lighting in our warehouses has reduced the energy we consume.
The pandemic led to some of our office and sales staff working from home, and we will continue to offer that flexibility as we move forward. This helps to reduce emissions with fewer commuters on the roads.

Ways we limit our corporate waste
In the cities where facilities exist, we recycle the shrink wrap used when vendors ship pallets to us and when we ship pallets internally amongst branches. Shrinkwrap is chopped, washed, melted, and extruded into plastic pellets by plastic recyclers that are then sold to plastic re-processors. In turn, a plastic re-processor may use plastic pellets to produce items like plastic lumber and new rolls of shrink wrap.

In most instances, we have provided cutlery, plates, and mugs, in our staff rooms to reduce the amount of single-use plastic, Styrofoam, and paper. General household recycling is done by our branches where possible.

For more information:
Florist Supply 


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