Our sustainable mission

Royal Lemkes wants to make a difference – for our employees, our customers and the world we live in. We believe that every company should strive for a better world, not only for ourselves but especially for future generations. We want to create a more beautiful planet with plants, which play a vital role in greening the earth. They are also extremely beneficial for our well-being when placed in and around homes, particularly in urban environments.

Plants and sustainability seem to be a logical combination, but this is not always the case. The raw materials and resources used in the production and transportation of plants are not always good for people and the environment, and they can contribute to CO2 emissions. Royal Lemkes aims to set an example in the green sector by collaborating with its partners in the supply chain to move towards greater sustainability from seed to plant to consumer.

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Sustainability policy
In 2016, together with our employees, we defined the pillars of our sustainability policy. Our sustainable mission is founded on six principles: biodiversity; climate; well-being, health and society; working conditions in the supply chain; our employees; and natural resources.

1. Biodiversity
Our goal is to buy and trade 90% of our products sustainably by 2020. Sustainable means: Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certified and both GAP and Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) certified in high-risk countries. Along with other companies in our industry and Royal Flora Holland, we have signed the ‘Accelerating Sustainability and Transparency Together’ manifesto.

2. Climate
In 2012, we installed the largest solar panel roof in the Netherlands at the time. In 2014, we replaced all our lighting with sustainable LED lamps, and in 2017, we expect a substantial reduction in energy consumption thanks to our new heat pumps. This year, we have also installed a battery to store excess solar energy from our panels for later use. Our operations are set to be fully energy-neutral by 2020.

We also critically monitor our own activities and will calculate our carbon footprint in 2017.

3. Well-being, health and society
Striving towards a more socially aware and greener world is in the DNA of our family business. We aim to be the go-to experts on the positive role plants play in our lives and like to share our knowledge with our customers so they can pass it on to their customers. The Royal Lemkes Foundation represents our ongoing commitment to charitable causes, and we also promote hiring people with a disadvantage in the labour market by partnering with social employment agencies.

4. Working conditions in the supply chain
Corporate social responsibility does not stop at our front door. Products have often travelled a long way before arriving at our premises, and we want to be sure they have been produced responsibly. We therefore constantly work on increasing transparency in the chain from seed to plant, and that includes our ornamental pots, decorations and packaging materials. We are affiliated with the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), an organisation that supports companies in establishing ethical supply chains.

5. Employees
At Royal Lemkes, we believe in people as much as we believe in plants. We are a family business and cherish our person-centred atmosphere and culture. Our HR policy is aimed at engaging and retaining committed, passionate employees. Personal growth, vitality and diversity play a crucial role in this, which is why we offer various development programmes and courses for staff at our Plantify Academy. We also provide a healthy working environment and supply nutritious lunches in our own kitchen.

6. Natural resources
The demand for raw materials exceeds the earth’s capacity to supply them. By using resources more efficiently and encouraging reuse, we can prevent shortages and reduce pollution. We measure and analyse Royal Lemkes’s product and waste streams and are aiming to reduce waste by at least 25% (in weight or quantity), while striving for 100% recycling.

Together, we make the world greener

Today, strategies for solving problems can be influenced by economic considerations, but at Royal Lemkes, we believe much more can be achieved by working together. This collaborative approach is translated into a sustainable commitment to our employees, a sustainable relationship with our suppliers and customers and sustainable partnerships with other market parties. The ‘Accelerating Sustainability and Transparency Together’ manifesto exemplifies our commitment in this area.

Accelerating Sustainability and Transparency Together manifesto
In association with Dutch Flower Group, Waterdrinker, Fleura Metz and Royal FloraHolland, we have launched an initiative to strive for a sustainable, future-proof floriculture sector where flowers and plants are grown and traded with respect for people and the environment. On 23 May 2017, we jointly signed the ‘Accelerating Sustainability and Transparency’ manifesto and have already taken meaningful steps to secure its aims, not least by organising meetings with nurseries to support growers in implementing necessary certification processes.

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Marco van Zijverden (Dutch Flower Group), Mariska Foppen (Waterdrinker), Lucas Vos (Royal FloraHolland) and Michiel de Haan (Royal Lemkes)

We are committed to CSR Netherlands, Benefits of Nature, the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative and the Business Social Compliance Initiative, and we work alongside MPS and Global GAP to make the chain more sustainable.

Our green premises

Sustainability is also central to Royal Lemkes’s business premises. Our building is equipped with LED lighting, heat pumps and almost 4,000 solar panels. The solar panels generate enough energy to run the building on sustainable electricity. Excess solar energy is stored in a battery for later use. We encourage our staff to cycle to work as much as possible and have six charging stations for employees and visitors to charge electric cars. Our aim is for the Royal Lemkes premises to be energy-neutral.