With the current situation on the planet, sustainability is a growing concern for everyone, particularly for Generation Z. According to a recent survey by the consulting company Deloitte, climate change and protecting the environment is the number one concern for Gen Z.
This generation of younger consumers is passionate about the planet’s health, and they make their feelings known through their purchasing decisions. Gen Z is also willing to spend more on sustainable products, according to a 2020 report by analytics company First Insight. 73% of Gen Z consumers surveyed said they would pay more, and 54% said they’d pay 10% extra for a sustainably made product.
These numbers reflect a significant shift in how consumers make purchasing decisions, and companies that adopt sustainable practices will be in a far better position to succeed. In essence, sustainable practices are not just vital for the environment; they’re also an excellent way to grow your floral business.
How Gen Z Influences Other Age Groups Toward Sustainability
In a survey conducted by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 75% of Gen Z respondents said that sustainability was the most important concern when purchasing a product. Only 49% of them said brand names were an important factor.
And it’s not just Gen Z that prefers sustainability; they’re also influencing other generations. Gen Z has been labeled “the most disruptive generation ever” by the Bank of America, and the survey results reflect this disruption: Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers have all increased their spending on sustainable products between 2019 and 2021, with Gen X upping their spending by 24%.
The move towards sustainability will only increase, so it makes sense for companies to adopt sustainable practices. That very much includes your floral business.
How to Make Your Floral Business More Sustainable
For some years, businesses at all levels of the floral industry have been adopting sustainable practices. Growers focus on being more environmentally sustainable, using materials responsibly, and conserving natural resources. And floral retailers are working to reduce their carbon footprint and adopting more sustainable practices. Here are a few things you can do to make your floral business more sustainable:
1. RECYCLE AND REUSE: When flowers arrive in their shipping boxes, don’t just throw away the cardboard, paper, and plastic materials. Separate them, reuse what you can, and recycle the rest. Another great way to recycle is to set up a vase recycling program with your customers, which allows you to reuse vases that would otherwise end up in the trash.
2. COMPOST OR RECYCLE PLANT AND FLOWER DEBRIS: After completing an arrangement, compost the cut stems and leaves or send them to a natural resource recycling center. You can also give any unused soil to a local landscaper or grower for composting and reuse.
3. REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC USE: Choose recycled paper instead of cellophane to wrap flowers, and opt for natural fiber ribbon (cotton, hemp, or silk). When possible, replace plastic vases with materials like glass, ceramic, or metal, which will also work perfectly in your vase recycling program.
4. SAVE ON ENERGY: Keep tabs on your overall energy consumption, and work to reduce energy use. Change your lights to energy-efficient bulbs and, if possible, use energy-efficient cars or trucks for deliveries.
5. SOURCE SUSTAINABLY GROWN PRODUCTS: Work with farms that follow sustainable practices, such as Rio’s farms. Additionally, source locally grown flowers when you can.
As you work to make your business more sustainable, promote it broadly. Spread the word on social media with a series of posts showing the various ways your shop is practicing sustainability. This will grab the attention of your Gen Z followers, who will likely share your post with others and create more word of mouth.