Bernhard Plantenkwekerij is the proud winner of the Greenovation Award for 2021. Their Elegant Phalaenopsis line (butterfly orchid) was considered by the public and the jury as the best sustainable product or concept introduction within the floriculture industry. Bram Bernhard, owner of Bernhard Plantenkwekerij, received the award from Steven van Schilfgaarde, CEO of Royal FloraHolland, during the Trade Fair Aalsmeer.
To much applause from the audience, Bram made his way to the front to receive the award. "This is our direction for the next fifteen years and we have accelerated things somewhat by winning this award. We are located in the Flevopolder, which fortunately means we have the possibilities and opportunities to combine solar panels and geothermal energy. The fact that we are winning this award is obviously a great boost. I hadn't really expected it. You certainly take part, but you don't really expect anything to come of it. The other nominees also had extremely interesting innovations. We are going to continue on this path, but we will first make time for a little celebration!"
The Phalaenopsis Elegant line is grown entirely sustainably in greenhouses heated with geothermal energy. This geothermal heat is produced using 45,000 floating solar panels in a water basin, with the energy generated by the solar panels used to power the geothermal heat pumps. This combination of solar panels and geothermal energy is unique in the Netherlands. According to the jury, this concept makes an enormous contribution to the floriculture industry's biggest sustainability challenge: becoming climate-neutral.
Numbers 2 and 3
In second place, was Ammerlaan The Green Innovator with their geothermal heat project which makes their nursery CO2 neutral, and, in third place, was Florius Flowers with their Paper Sleeve concept, a 100% recyclable flower sleeve made of 20% flower stem fibres from their own waste stream.
The professional jury and the public both had a 50% share in the overall assessment. This year's professional jury included: Quincy von Bannisseht, Strategic Manager at Glastuinbouw Nederland, Anne-Lotte Boudeling, CSR Officer at FM Group and Maarten Bánki, Manager of Sustainable Development & Quality at Royal FloraHolland.
Inspiration for the sustainability of the floriculture industry
Van Schilfgaarde says: "This year, we received more than 20 entries, all of them wonderful initiatives to make our industry more sustainable. I am extremely proud of that. It shows that the floriculture industry is in full swing when it comes to sustainability. With initiatives like this, we can inspire each other and show everyone that we are committed to growing flowers and plants with respect for people and the environment."
You can read through the entries of all ten nominees, including that of the winner, again at your leisure or watch the video on the webpage of the Greenovation Award.