Measuring the carbon and water footprint in floriculture
When Royal FloraHolland was looking to deepen their understanding of their environmental footprint, they turned to PRé. Since they already had an understanding of their scope 1 and 2 emissions, PRé helped them look beyond these at their scope 3 emissions, and to focus on those elements of their corporate footprint that were having the greatest impact, so they could see where to focus their efforts within their sustainability mission.
Royal FloraHolland is a cooperative of growers and the world’s largest marketplace for floriculture. A vital actor in the sector, they connect growers, buyers, and third parties through their digital platform. Their sustainability mission: future-proof the floriculture sector by ensuring that flowers and plants are grown and traded with respect for people and the planet.
Royal FloraHolland already had a good understanding of their scope 1 and 2 emissions (i.e., the impact of their own activities). However, they wanted to look beyond this at their scope 3 emissions (i.e., the impacts of the entire value chain) as well.
Additionally, they wanted to see whether it would be possible to collect all the data required to measure environmental footprinting and to ensure they are prepared for the Product Environmental Footprint to kick-off in 2022 or 2023.
PRé measured Royal FloraHolland’s corporate carbon and water footprint, including not only their own emissions and on-site energy use (scope 1 and 2 emissions), but also a selection of scope 3 emissions of most interest to them: packaging purchased, waste flows, water intake and discharge, and inbound transport of products.
The results of this corporate carbon and water footprint, which used data from 2019, constitute the benchmark results.
PRé carried out a hotspot analysis to see which of their scope 1, 2, and 3 activities contribute most significantly to their corporate footprint.
These insights were then used as a basis for discussing and exploring various opportunities for improvement, and on that basis to identify and quantify potential reductions through scenario analyses.
This study highlighted opportunities for improvement both within Royal FloraHolland’s own activities and throughout the value chain. And that in turn encouraged them to focus their efforts on the areas where their carbon and water footprints were greatest, so that they could ultimately improve their own overall environmental performance of and that of their products.
Royal FloraHolland has already made numerous changes within their business to reduce their environmental impact. For instance, they have switched to a green electricity mix and will soon have installed solar panels at three of their sites. These steps alone will cut scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 59%.
Royal FloraHolland is now determining which measures they should take next. The results of this study enabled them to quantify the reductions that could be achieved through various measures, and encouraged them to explore additional possibilities through the same fact-based approach.
Going forward, they will use the baseline measurement of their corporate footprint to track their carbon footprint over time. They will also use this study alongside further guidance from PRé to set reduction targets with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and to continue to explore further reduction strategies.