Introduction to the Conference
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, Conference Coordinator
Opening Keynote – The Big (Environmental) Picture
Dr. Robert Stavins, Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program – website
This session set the stage for the entire conference by providing an overview of the issues & helping us understand the terminology and underlying driving forces of the issues.
Afternoon Keynote – Green Business Driving Forces
Joel Makower, CEO, Greener World Media – website
This second keynote narrowed the focus from the opening keynote session to address how the increased attention to environmental issues has affected businesses in the U.S.
An Overview of the Sustainable Sites Initiative
Dr. Steve Windhager, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – website
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden) has created voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.
Making the Grade
Case 1 – Walmart — Sustainability Consortium
Stan Pohmer, Pohmer Consulting
This session provided the distribution/retail supply chain viewpoint. Also, given their size, Walmart tends to be a driving force in and of themselves.
Case 2 – Food Retailing
Jason Wadsworth, Sustainability Coordinator, Wegmans Food Markets
Ideally, this session should provide a comprehensive review of the food industry’s current approach to balancing environmental, economic and social considerations throughout the supply chain.
What Exactly IS Our Footprint?
Kaji Kado, PPD Technologies
With growing water demand and fresh water scarcity coupled with the credit crisis, soaring energy costs and changes in rainfall patterns, water is proving to be a serious risk to organizations both directly and indirectly through their supply chain. The water footprint of a business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used directly or indirectly to run and support a business
Dr. Will Healy, Ball Horticultural Company
The amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by a particular activity or entity is referred to as a carbon footprint and is a way for businesses and individuals to assess their contribution to climate change. Understanding these emissions, and where they come from, is necessary in order to reduce them. In the past, companies wanting to measure their carbon footprints have focused on their own emissions, but now they are increasingly concerned with emissions across their entire supply chain. This session provided examples of life cycle analyses in the floriculture industry regarding the calculation of our water and carbon.
Case Studies from Those Who Are Operationalizing Sustainability
This session provides real-life case study examples of firms across the entire floricultural supply chain who are implementing carbon and water saving (and other sustainable) practices. A short introduction to this session will highlight recent industry surveys regarding current and planned sustainability practices.
Augusto Solano – Florverde; international cut flower grower perspective (water conservation)
Mark Elzinga of Elzinga & Hoeksema – sustainable practices, organic production as a niche
Rick Brown of Riverview Farms – environmental leadership award-winner, Florida-Friendly Plants
Maria Kreidermacher, Pork & Plants – received the GPN Sustainability Progress Award in 2008
Bob Dolibois, ANLA
This closing session provided a strong corollary to the discussions that have taken place over the previous two days by highlighting the challenges associated with these environmental issues (particularly water and carbon). This session also highlighted the responses made by industry participants in addressing these issues, the importance of consumer and legislator perceptions about our products and services, and what is being done in the industry to convey our value proposition of enhancing the lives of consumers through ecosystems services and other benefits (health, aesthetics, economic, etc). Discussion afterward would focus on implications for the floriculture industry.
Telling Our Story
Fred Haberman, Modern Story Tellers – website
This follow-up session to the keynote discussed the importance of being proactive in espousing the positive aspects of our environmental story as an industry and as individual companies within the industry. As sustainability continues to become more mainstream, companies are exploring ways to engage their customers and communities regarding environmental issues, yet consumers are increasingly more skeptical about green claims and the potential for greenwashing. Thus, it is imperative for firms in the floriculture industry to accurately and effectively communicate their green initiatives by promoting transparency and actively engaging internal and external audiences, resulting in market share, improved customer loyalty, and being publicly recognized for inspiring progress.
Dr. Charlie Hall, Conference Coordinator