Edmund Timm joined the Dutch environmental certification scheme MPS as commercial director in September 2022. He has a proven track record in leading positions and a good understanding of standardisation’s needs, strengths, and values within the international business environment. He has extensive knowledge of making use of data to improve business and calculated footprints for more than 150 customers in 20 countries.
“We all recognise the growing importance of sustainability in our world. For instance, some universities have stopped handing flowers to graduating students, citing concerns about sustainability. But is this perception of our flourishing floriculture sector entirely accurate?
Certainly, there is room for improvement in making our industry more sustainable. However, during the last (and my first) year at MPS, I was astonished by the negative outlook on our green sector. I’ve witnessed numerous sustainability initiatives and am proud to contribute to them through MPS. As a foundation established almost 30 years ago to increase sustainability in the floriculture sector, we provide growers with valuable insights based on data. This approach facilitates demonstrable sustainability improvements in environmental practices, business operations, and working conditions.
The initiatives I’ve observed, such as employing natural pest control, water recirculation, sea transport, renewable energy usage, and reducing CO2 emissions, are commendable but often challenging to showcase. When buying a house, refrigerator, or car, we look for energy labels, and when purchasing food, we’re presented with Nutri-Score or sustainability labels. Unfortunately, the sustainability of our flowers and plants remains virtually invisible to consumers despite extensive certification within the supply chain to demonstrate sustainable cultivation practices.
The HortiFootprint Calculator (HFC), developed by MPS in collaboration with LetsGrow.com, aims to make these efforts visible. Currently, the HFC calculates the CO2 footprint based on the FloriPEFCR, a sector-wide standard that quantifies the environmental impact of the floriculture sector. The ultimate goal is to calculate the impact on 17 different impact categories across the entire lifecycle. Currently, over 150 companies in more than 20 different countries already use the HFC, setting an example by transparently revealing their ecological footprint, intending to implement improvements and achieve a sustainable floriculture sector.
It would be fantastic if consumers could eventually recognise the true value of relevant certifications, understanding that flowers can indeed be sustainable and that gifting a beautiful bouquet can be responsible and eco-friendly. The HFC will undoubtedly contribute to this realisation, and we at MPS will continue supporting growers in their sustainability endeavours as we strive towards a greener world.”
Edmund Timm will be presenting the footprinting tool for growers at the AIPH Industry Conference on 19 September. Visit www.aiph.org/event/75th-annual-congress/.
This article was first published in the September 2023 FloraCulture International.