Author

Mark Weber

Photography

Emma Pallant

Date

27.04.21

Category

Art
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40,000 sachets of flower seeds for bees

22 April 2021 – The Netherlands’ oldest department store, de Bijenkorf, has been pursuing an ambitious sustainability strategy called The Future is Green since 2017. Saving the bee is one of the priorities. As part of National Sowing Day, organic flower seeds will be distributed in all shops until 20 May 2021. In the past year, various large and small steps were taken towards a greener future.

SAVING THE BEE
From 15 April to the end of May, de Bijenkorf will be running a campaign to save the bee for the fourth year in a row. In all de Bijenkorf shops, bags of organic flower seeds will be handed out to sow flowers for bees and other pollinators on National Sowing Day (22 April). A total of 40,000 sachets were distributed, enough for 25 soccer fields of food for bees. From 22 to 26 April, the façade of de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam will be entirely covered in flowers to raise raise attention for the bee, whose existence is seriously threatened. On 22 April, a cheque will be presented at this location to The Pollinators, a platform dedicated to the preservation of the bee in the Netherlands.

Starting this year, de Bijenkorf also works together with Staatsbosbeheer (the Dutch Forestry Commission) to improve biodiversity. This cooperation will be officially sealed on World Bee Day (20 May).

SUSTAINABILITY AS A MISSION
The recent update of de Bijenkorf’s mission clearly reflects the importance the organization attaches to sustainability: ‘the most creative, inspiring and sustainable department store, where everyone can feel special’. The overarching sustainability goals until 2025 are:

– Sell only more sustainable brands
– Reduce own CO2 emissions by 29.4%
– Take the bee off the red list of endangered species

We are well on the way, but we are not there yet. And we cannot and will not do it alone. That is why we are in constant dialogue with internal and external stakeholders about the impact of our actions throughout the chain and why we inspire our customers to do something too. Every step, no matter how big or small, is important. Justin Pariag, Head of Sustainable Business, de Bijenkorf

TOWARDS A GREENER FUTURE
In the shops and online, there is an additional focus on sustainability in the form of The Green Studio, a permanent place where an ever-changing range of more sustainably produced items is on sale, ranging from fashion and accessories to home furnishings and food. This is in line with de Bijenkorf’s ambition to sell only more sustainable brands by 2025. In other areas, too, large and small steps towards a greener future were taken last year.

By 2020, the number of more sustainably produced items in the assortment doubled to over 5,000.
In the same year, 13.8% of the planned 29.4% reduction in their own CO2 emissions was achieved.
19% less waste was produced than in 2019 and the amount of residual waste was reduced by 39%.
Gift wrap and carrier bags have been replaced with materials that produce fewer emissions. The carrier bags are now made entirely of paper, which means that they can be disposed of as waste paper.
De Bijenkorf employees volunteered a combined 1,658 hours of their time and 3,250 kg of chocolates, cakes and other goodies were donated to food banks across the country.

Later this spring, de Bijenkorf will launch a digital platform entirely dedicated to sustainability, intended to connect, inspire and motivate its own organisation and others with ideas, initiatives and visions in this area.

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