Foundation in Sustainable Floristry

The first course in our CPD program establishes the foundations for better decision-making. We consider the problems we face as florists – and examine strategies for change. 

Enrolments are now open for the Foundation in Sustainable Floristry course:

Enrol now

Course preview



The course is rich in original video content and is structured over 14 units between 30 – 50 minutes per session.  Over 9 hours online, students will explore a range of topics including:

What we are aiming for when we mean ‘sustainability’

using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as our guide.

The Triple Planetary Crisis

why the three crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution must be tackled together and with great urgency.

The role of business in addressing environmental challenges

— how in our role as designers and business owners we can play a powerful role in addressing the Triple Planetary Crisis.

Florists as nature’s ambassadors

– valuing natural capital and using our innate relationship to nature to promote the value of nature in our work and connect to our customers to the natural world.

A Perfect Bunch

understanding what’s involved in commercial flower production from soil to vase, and how inputs and farming methods can impact carbon footprints and the local environment.

Sustainability issues though global floriculture supply chains

— looking at the journey cut flowers take from harvest to vase, throughout supply chains and considering the people impacted along the way.

Choosing better flowers

— with a deeper understanding of how flowers are produced, we can make better decisions about the flowers we buy.

The circular Vs linear economy

— learn what actions we can take to move away from our current take-make-waste approach to resource use and waste creation and support a circular economy.

Designing out waste

— understanding how to support the waste pyramid through life cycle thinking, choosing the right materials and designing with resource recovery and waste processing systems in practice.

Investing in ethics

— considering the environmental and social risks of decision making, projects and investments, and their impacts on natural capital.

Communicating with community

— the questions to ask and the messages to promote to genuinely create a more sustainable industry.


Florists must complete a Foundation in Sustainable Floristry course to become an SFN Member.


CPD Certified

Foundation in Sustainable Floristry teaches florists how they can the support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and tackle the Triple Planetary Crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

This is achieved by applying science-based sustainability principles to floristry, and identifying practical actions florists can undertake in their design and business practices.

The Foundation in Sustainable Floristry training course is CPD certified by The CPD Certification Service, meaning that the course conforms to universal CPD education principles.

Students who complete the course will receive a ‘certificate of completion’. This certificate verifies completion of the training course and demonstrates a commitment to professional development.

Completing the SFN course does not mean you have been “certified by the SFN” as a sustainable florist. The SFN is an education provider. We do not accredit, certify or audit individuals or businesses as ‘sustainable florists’. 

A certificate and a certification are different things.

A certificate is an educational process that issues a certificate or document to verify successful completion of that program or course.

A certification, on the other hand, requires the participant to meet industry professional standards. Certifications are usually required by industries that must demonstrate their expertise with some sort of qualification.

The Foundation in Sustainable Floristry has been developed for all skill levels, from beginners through to teachers.


Foundation in Sustainable Floristry is $385 AUD .

Enrol now


Since 2019, the Sustainable Floristry Network has evolved with the support and input of many individuals who have freely and generously given their advice, expertise and experience. The SFN does not take any commercial sponsorship or advertising that would influence the core mission of creating an education hub and knowledge bank dedicated to the emerging discipline of sustainable floristry. This break from traditional funding models is what makes it a genuinely independent organisation.

To create the Foundation in Sustainable Floristry course, the authors called on the help of many in the industry, as well as academic experts who could speak with authority on the science of sustainability as it applies to floristry.

We would like to offer a special thanks to the following individuals and businesses for helping bring this course come to life, whether through providing advice, talking to camera, access to farms for filming, providing images for use in videos, or other support:

Sarah O’Bryan from The Flowerpress Blog for her founding role in the creation of the SFN and for her contribution to early ideas about what ‘sustainable floristry’ might be and suggesting the Sustainable Development Goals as the ultimate objective.

Jo Thompson, for appearing out of nowhere to act as our Education Officer and guide us through the tough process of producing online adult education material for CPD accreditation.

Our featured interviewees; Professor David Bek, Coventry University, and Dr Jill Timms, Surrey University, both co-leads of the Sustainable Cut Flowers Project in the UK, for their overall contribution to shaping a more sustainable industry, and for helping us all to understand the complexities of sustainability and science as it applies to floristry, so perfectly. 

Dr Charelene Trestrail, University of Technology, Sydney, whose contribution to water pollution research and commitment to fighting plastic pollution has guided so much of our understanding about plastic, in particular floral foam in the environment.

Shane Connolly for the ongoing support since the SFN’s Garden Museum birthday in 2018 – and especially with the filming.

Our Expert Advisors: Professor Ian Rae, Dr Elisa Raulings, Dr Raymond Trevorah, Dr Matthew Parnell and Dr Clare Coleman for their expert input and review of material presented in the course and on the website.

Our Industry Advisors: Shayne Broekhof, Cel Robertson, Linda D’Arco, Shane Connolly, Julie Collins and Debra Prinzing for their guidance and insight into the challenges faced by forging new paths and developing new ideas around sustainability and floristry/floriculture. 

The team at Melbourne Polytechnic Floristry: Renae Monument, Myhanh Rutledge and Anne Maree Montague, for their commitment to comprehensive change in the mainstream teaching system, course feedback and ongoing support for the SFN.

Melanie Stapleton from Cecilia Fox (NZ), Pilar Zuniga from Gorgeous and Green (US), Ellen Douglas from Botany (AU) Lauren and Lousina from Days of Dahlia (UK) and Tobey Nelson (US), for contributing materials and case studies for the course and standing by their principles in their business operation.

Liz Dziedzic for flagging the problem designs in the teaching curriculum.

All our Industry Leaders for your inspiring stories, patience, interest and messages of encouragement throughout the past few years.

The following businesses for helping us create the videos with locations, explanations and advice:

Australia: Kerri & Greg Australian Roses; Hayden and Tash, Bloom Into You; Scott, De Boer Tulips; EE Muir & Sons; Bob, Endesby’s Flowers; Cosi, Olwyn, Dave & Johnny, Floramax Wholesale Flowers; Mitchy, Ross, Dylan, Amy & all the gang at Goodwood Roses; Annaliese and Alphonse, Hollis Road Roses; Greg, Van Berkel Farm; Ion Staunton, Pestech; Bee & Kiandra, The Road Stall; Broeky & Lump, Lakeside Flowers; Meg & Joe, Monvale Flowers; Mick, Nood Blooms Roses; Jos Roskam, Roskam Greenhouse Consultancy; Josh and the team at Say it With Flowers; Damien, Sky Valley Flowers; Kristy, Soho Rose Farm; Nat & the team, The Big Bouquet; Steve & the Bras Family, The Tulip Garden; Troy & Jemmiah, TNT Flowers; Morris & Sue, Vermeltfoort Flowers.

UK: Cel Robertson, Forever Green Flower Company

The following organisations for suppling information and graphics to support the video content: Rodale Institute (US), Fairtrade, Women Working Worldwide.

The following organisations for granting copyright approval to use videos for the course: WWF, University of California, LA (Sustainability), Scitoons, Ellen Macarthur Foundation, Mind UK.

Angela Coulton for all the help with understanding the issue of carbon footprinting and cut flowers, Rebecca Swinn’s thesis and introducing us to “How bad are bananas” by Mike Berners-Lee.

Lynsey Myra for early input on text – and inspiring ‘taking things further’.

John Warren for going solar, being on the team (whatever the weather) and getting the shots.

Edward Whitehead for the ongoing mentoring, guidance and interest in seeing the SFN succeed.

Warren and the team at All or Nothing for the branding, website and professional advice.

Amber Goedegebuure for the beautiful design work and commitment to seasonal palettes.

Spencer James, our trusty UK video editor, for being so wonderful to work with across the interwebs.

Sandy, for being all the things Sandy can be.

And last but by no means least, Pete and Steve, for the cups of tea, laughs and patience.

With our heartfelt thanks, Rita and Ginger.