SFN Principles

The Sustainable Floristry Network has developed five principles to guide florists toward a sustainable practice.


  1. Flower for the future
  2. Design for the planet
  3. Manage waste and workplace
  4. Safe and fair, everywhere
  5. Communicate with community

The SFN Design and Business Principles recognise the three pillars of sustainability: people, planet and prosperity. They have been developed to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and circular economy models, in consultation with academic and industry experts.

This is a living document, guided by the latest science. We may update it as knowledge evolves.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.

The SFN Design and Business Principles

A summary of the key actions for each SFN principle can be found below. The full document forms part of the SFN Foundation in Sustainable Floristry course, which expands on these ideas and explains how to execute them.

Flower for the future

  1. Use locally-grown, seasonal flowers wherever possible to minimise your design’s environmental footprint.
  2. Celebrate and promote the beauty and diversity of local flora, sustainably-sourced indigenous species, and climate-suitable varieties.
  3. Prioritise farmers in the slow flower movement, regenerative agriculture and those striving to farm sustainably. Utilise certification schemes to support decision-making, where applicable.

Design for the planet

  1. Design to support a genuine connection between humans and nature.
  2. Practice circular design and be guided by the zero-waste hierarchy. Abandon the use of single-use plastics, including floral foam.
  3. Design with the end user in mind.  Make it easy for your flower recipients to divert all associated materials into suitable resource recovery streams once the flowers have died.

Manage waste and workplace

  1. Seek to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss through embedding circular economy principles into your workplace.
  2. Conserve resources wherever possible, including energy, water and non-renewable materials.
  3. Ensure waste handling is managed to maximise resource recovery.

Safe and fair, everywhere

  1. Ensure your workplace or business is safe and fair.
  2. Engage or do business with other entities that support these values, particularly those striving to raise conditions for workers throughout supply chains.
  3. Use certification systems as a means of raising the overall standard of flower and material production systems. In their absence, research how products are grown or manufactured.

Communicate with community

  1. Engage with co-workers, suppliers and consumers to share messages about sustainability. Foster kindness, patience and tolerance in all communication. We are all learning — and nobody is perfect.
  2. Emphasise the need for change in the industry. Share resources to help consumers understand why we need to make better choices.
  3. Be transparent and truthful about the products and flowers you use, particularly if modified from their natural state. Never greenwash.