Head Office4-17-5 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 (Sotetsu Tamachi Building 4F)
EstablishedJuly 2002 (as the floristry operations dept. of Suntory Ltd. split off to become an independent company)
Sales5 billion yen (by fiscal 2021)
Employees59 (in 2021)
Business DescriptionDevelopment, production and sales of flower seedlings, potted flowers, vegetable seedlings, fruits & vegetables,
Company Overview and Philosophy
Since the 1980s, Suntory has considered flowers to be things that enrich people’s lives and impart a healthy spirit. We have applied basic research cultivated in the alcoholic beverage and food fields to the research and development of plants, enabling us to offer our customers ways of enjoying living with flowers. As this business operation expanded, it was spun off in July 2002 to form the independent company Suntory Flowers Ltd. Today we engage in global business operations with sales areas across more than 30 countries, primarily in Europe, North America, Australia, etc., as well as in Japan. Moving forward, we will act every day in pursuit of our aspiration to move the hearts and enrich the spirits of customers the world over through our premium flower and vegetable products.
Primary Sustainability Activities
Sustainability Management Promotion
In order to realize the Group’s corporate philosophy, "To Create Harmony with People and Nature," we have established guidelines based on the Group’s Code of Business Ethics, enabling us to act as a company that offers enjoyment of living with flowers. To ensure thoroughgoing internal compliance, we promote management compliance activities among all employees.
Protecting/utilizing intellectual property rights
We strive to protect our own intellectual property rights and take appropriate measures against infringement so that we can continue to offer products with high added value unique to Suntory Flowers Limited, utilizing plant breeder’s rights, trademark rights, and other rights. We are also mindful of third-party intellectual property rights, and conduct thorough in-house training to ensure that we do not infringe on such rights.
Relations with Customers
Offering customers a life with flowers, and the joy of growing flowers
By providing ways to enjoy plants that suit diversifying lifestyles, we hope to expand our circle of communication with customers. In order to enable customers to enjoy the satisfaction of living with flowers and the joy of growing flowers, Suntory Flowers Ltd. includes a corner on its website where customers can search for sales outlets. The site includes Q&A and video content on how to grow flowers, information on the characteristics of each variety, quality control efforts, etc. We have also established a Customer Center to respond to various inquiries by phone and e-mail. In addition, the back of our product labels describe plant characteristics and points for cultivation.
Improve products and services utilizing customer feedback
All information on customer comments and requests received by the Suntory Flowers Customer Center is recorded and compiled on a regular basis. The information is then shared among all the relevant parties, and utilized to improve products and services, and to develop new products.
Thorough compliance with environmental laws and regulations
In order to ensure thorough compliance with environment-related laws and regulations, Suntory Flowers compiles a list of applicable laws and regulations each year and conducts periodic compliance checks. Other initiatives include continued use of FSC-certified paper and vegetable oil-based ink in pamphlets, further reduction of electricity consumption at the Head Office, and continued action calling on contract farmers to engage in environmentally sound practices when using agricultural chemicals. Regarding environmental education for employees, in addition to instruction during new-employee training, we also conduct e-learning once a year, and all employees take the course.
Environmentally friendly offices
At our Head Office (Minato-ku, Tokyo) and R&D Center (Higashiomi City, Shiga Prefecture), we follow a checklist once a year to confirm whether these facilities are operated in an environmentally sound manner, thus ensuring compliance with environment-related laws and regulations.
Initiatives for the Suntory Sustainability Vision
Donation to WaterAid Japan
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "&Green" indoor houseplants, a product concept we describe as "a green brand that creates new connections with greenery," is donated to WaterAid Japan, a designated nonprofit organization.
CO2 reduction in logistics
We are working to reduce CO2 emissions in logistics by increasing the supply-demand ratios in our shipment areas and shortening product transportation distances as much as possible.
Launching environmentally friendly products
In response to growing environmental awareness in recent years, Suntory Flowers Ltd. has been marketing products that offer customers an eco-friendly lifestyle, such as products for green-wall vertical gardens (Eco Goya, etc.) and products with highly effective leaf transpiration (Sun Venus, Terrace Lime, etc.). We also provide information on how to grow and enjoy them.
Safety and Security Initiatives
In order to ensure that our customers can enjoy peace of mind in living with flowers, we voluntarily conduct virus and viroid tests for microorganisms and bacteria on the stock plants of our products in accordance with the inspection standards of an official body in the Netherlands that conducts quality inspections of horticultural products.
Regarding quality control at the product production stage, we share information on production status through our in-house Quality Committee to thoroughly prevent and address quality problems.
Containers and Packaging
Utilization of "nurtured" forest timber
Ready to Harvest, edible table herbs with the concept of making the pleasure of taste more accessible, easier and more enjoyable, are cultivated partly on land using "nurtured timber," a byproduct of forest husbandry at Natural Water Sanctuary forests.
Donation to the Japan Pink Ribbon Movement against breast cancer
The Princettia of Suntory Flowers Ltd. has been highly acclaimed both in Japan and overseas, named Japan Flower of the Year in 2009 and winning gold medals at overseas exhibitions. A portion of the proceeds from Princettia sales are donated to the Japan Pink Ribbon Movement for Breast Cancer (J.POSH) to support their activities.
Initiatives with Business Partners
Compliance with the Subcontract Act
The farmers to whom Suntory Flowers Ltd. outsources the production of flower and vegetable seedlings are vital partners in advancing our business. In order to maintain mutual win-win relationships, we conduct fair transactions and comply with the Subcontract Act at each stage of contracting, ordering, delivery, acceptance inspection, and payment.
Relationship with Employees
Encouraging flexible work styles to suit each individual
In January 2019, Suntory Flowers Ltd. introduced a telework labor system. This has enabled employees to work from home as well as at the office or on business trips, promoting work styles tailored to each individual employee. By further enhancing IT tools, we also support flexible work styles from any location.
To promote self-development, we have introduced the SUNTORY Self Development Program, a support effort common to the Suntory Group, through which employees can attend various programs as needed.
Promoting work-life balance
To help employees balance work and personal life, we have institutionalized leave systems for childcare and nursing care, as well as for shorter work hours and staggered shifts. Since 2014, we have set targets for overtime work hours, and have greatly reduced overtime by managing it thoroughly to ensure that employees take compensatory time off if they work on holidays for business reasons.
Supporting local revitalization and next-generation development through flowers
In 2012, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Red Flower Project was launched to plant flowers in parks and other public facilities to help revitalize communities, and in 2015, the Big Flower Project was launched nationwide. We have donated flower seedlings to organizations throughout Japan. We received numerous reports of conversations and smiles spreading through participation in the project as the members of the community engaged in growing flowers together. We have also implemented the Kids Gardening Project, supporting flower gardening by children through donations of flower seedlings (by application) to elementary schools across Japan, with the aim of encouraging children to cooperate with their peers and interact with local residents through flowers. Since 2017, we have consolidated and focused these activities on supporting earthquake recovery efforts in the Tohoku and Kumamoto areas. We will continue our activities from 2019 to make as many people smile as possible through the power of flowers as part of the Tomorrow’s Flowers Project.
Flower, seedling donations to areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake
In 2011 and 2012, we supplied flower seedlings to the Flower Bed Restoration Program run by the MUFG-UNESCO Association Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Scholarship Fund, and also provided flower seedlings to elementary schools in Miyagi Prefecture and for the activities of "Green Advisors" in the affected areas. In 2011, employees visited Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture to deliver planters with Million Bell and Sun Venus flower varieties to people living in temporary housing, and from 2012 to 2014, employees worked with local residents as volunteers to create flower beds alongside national roads. Since 2016, we have been conducting flower-planting workshops in collaboration with Suntory Holdings at children’s centers and school childcare centers in the Tohoku area, and at temporary housing in Kumamoto.
Participation in Women’s Activity Support Program
Since 2020, Suntory Flowers has participated in a charity program for Girls Inc., a North American nonprofit organization that supports girls ages 5 to 18, donating a portion of the sales proceeds from our Soiree® Kawaii brand of flower seedlings each year. A portion was also sent to support homeless youth.
Scholarship program established to support the next-generation of human resources
The Dream Big scholarship will be established in 2022 in partnership with the American Floral Endowment (AFE) to support enthusiastic agricultural students, nurture the next generation, and give back to the horticultural industry in order to develop it and create the future of flowers.