Greenovation Award jury: “Show what you do to help make the sector more sustainable”

August 2, 2021
Sustainabiliy
Quincy von bannisseht2

This autumn, for the fifth time Royal FloraHolland will present the annual Greenovation Award at the 2021 Trade Fair Aalsmeer, because we believe that sustainable innovations deserve to be put in the spotlight. We met with jury member Quincy von Bannisseht of Glastuinbouw Nederland to talk about the award. He offered some tips for what to pay attention to in your submission!

The wide variety of submissions is what struck him the most last year. "From labels and packaging to potted plant concepts and cultivation systems. This shows that throughout the chain, businesses are doing their best to make progress in the terms of sustainability."

This is the third year that Quincy von Bannisseht is a jury member for the Greenovation Award. As a strategic manager at Glastuinbouw Nederland, he works on the organization's sustainability strategy. "I think it is essential for a floriculture company to show which beautiful plants they grow and how. Quite a few entrepreneurs aren't aware of the value of their flowers, plants and sustainable cultivation methods. Tell us how flowers and plants contribute to a healthy and pleasant living environment. Show us how great it is to work in floriculture, and how the sector helps make our society more sustainable. Sharing that story more often reinforces your right to exist on the long term."

Why is an initiative like the Greenovation Award so important for the sector?

"Because of inspiration! This contest can inspire entrepreneurs, giving them new ideas or prompting them to put their own spin on innovations they might come across. That way, the Award motivates entrepreneurs to go above and beyond in sustainability. The Award also leads to products and concepts that serve as ingredients for stories entrepreneurs can tell to show what our sector can mean for society."

What sustainability and innovation trends are there in the sector?

"Accounting for what your business does towards sustainability, in particular, is becoming increasingly important. We see that in the rising demand for certified products and in the development of ecological footprint methods. That is a current market trend. On the long term, the government will pass legislation for due diligence. That entails businesses being required to document risks pertaining to CO2 emissions, water consumption and the environmental impact of crop protection, and be able to show what they are doing to reduce or prevent those. The entire floriculture industry will have to deal with that as well, both in wholesale and production. Therefore, it's important to constantly work on sustainable products and concepts."

What will you be paying attention to as a jury member?

"The jury has a set of criteria whereby originality is of course important. It has to be new. What the jury also looks at is 'storytelling', meaning: what story is being told by this submission? What do you want to achieve with your innovation? How will it benefit society? The story behind an innovation is very important."

With last year's winner, did you know right away that it was a unique and special innovation?

"The winner, Kwekerij Barendse Freesia, stood out immediately. It was a cultivation system with different types of sustainable elements that reinforced each other. And the story made sense too. My tip: make sure your submission has an appealing story - not one that asks questions, one that gives us answers. So, don't just put down some brief bullet points on paper. Really put in the time to create a good story."

Why do businesses 'have to' participate?

"First of all, because it gives you a chance to win the award and everything that comes with it, including a professional photo and video shoot, media attention and a free stand at the Trade Fair Aalsmeer in 2022. If your submission is nominated, you get a trading floor presentation. But whether you win or not: participation means exchanging great ideas for sustainability. It helps keep the focus on sustainability. That's good for your business, for the sector and for society."