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Cultivating a greener floriculture industry

There's a lot of talk in the floriculture industry about sustainability, and rightly so. More and more industry members talk about the need to do more.

At Oasis Grower Solutions, they recently shared the results of a Carbon Footprint Assessment of one of our engineered foam substrates. While that was a step in the right direction, they realize there's much, much more to do.

So, when a sustainability initiative arises that goes beyond the talk and takes action to make an industry-wide difference, they're eager to listen and get involved. Sustainabloom, a collaborative initiative established by the American Floral Endowment (AFE) in 2022, is just such an endeavor. They hope you'll help make a difference and join us in supporting the Sustainabloom Movement.

As the floriculture industry's leading charitable organization, AFE has been at the forefront of innovative research, floriculture internships, scholarships for next-generation floriculture leaders, and educational grants for more than 60 years. (In fact, AFE's annual R.I.S.E. fundraising campaign, your chance to invest in the future of floriculture, is underway May 15-June 28:

As the floriculture industry moves forward, its members and our customers increasingly desire and demand sustainable practices and products. It's only natural that AFE should step up and help lead the industry into a future where the "journey from cultivation to customer" reflects sustainability and responsibility at every turn.

Oasis Grower Solutions, a Division of Smithers-Oasis, is proud that Smithers-Oasis is a founding partner of Sustainabloom. Smithers-Oasis President and CEO Robin Kilbride understands the challenges floriculture faces in tackling sustainability — and the potential for the Sustainabloom program.

"When we launched the Smithers-Oasis Do Good. Every Day. global sustainability program in 2021, it was a huge undertaking. Sustainability is more than better products and reduced resources — it impacts every part of a business. There is a lot to digest and it can be difficult to find a starting point," she shares.

"So when AFE approached us to be a founding sponsor of the new Sustainabloom program, they jumped at the chance. By working together in the industry and sharing best practices, implementing sustainability initiatives in our respective businesses can be less overwhelming. I'm thrilled with the work the Sustainabloom Committee has completed over the past two years. I'm excited to see what comes next!"

Jim Daly, Smithers-Oasis VP of Global FloraLife, Grower and Research, adds, "Smithers-Oasis — including Oasis Grower Solutions, FloraLife and Design Master — takes sustainability very seriously. It's on the top of our research goals, packaging and new product goals, which is why they saw the importance of being a major supporter of the AFE Sustainability program. All of the flower industry's future depends on it moving forward."

Sustainabloom's approach to ensuring floriculture's sustainable future emphasizes providing industry members with the resources we need to assess our current practices and products and achieve our sustainability goals. That involves simplifying complex sustainability challenges so that they all can succeed, whether our businesses are small or large.

Over the past two years, Sustainabloom researchers and industry advisors have collected and analyzed more than 800 documents relating to sustainability in floriculture. They've identified gaps in research and resources and made plans to fill them. They've also augmented existing resources and created new ones to fill the new Sustainabloom website at with research-driven, user-friendly resources for you and your staff to use and learn.

Current resources on the new platform focus on effective waste management, integrated pest management strategies, consumer demand and preferences, and energy-efficient practices. The new platform also houses valuable resources relating to certifications, assessment tools and more.

Their own Director of Global Grower Operations and Research, Dr. Vijay Rapaka, serves on the AFE Board of Trustees. "Sustainability is the biggest buzzword in pretty much every industry including floriculture and horticulture. Although this is extremely complex, everybody is on their own journey," he says.

"As far as I know AFE's Sustainabloom is the only organizational initiative that is trying to consolidate and provide meaningful resources to research and educate the industry. It is a great honor to serve on a board that is working on such an impactful agenda."

For more information:
Oasis Grower Solutions

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