GREEN WEDDINGS INITIATIVE
Photo credit: MyPhotato
OUR ADVOCACIES //
A. Save Gas, Use Bus!
Yep, people born in the 1970's will distinctly recall taking those blue air-conditioned buses which ply the EDSA & Ayala Avenue routes. Called Love Bus, they were meant to cut the use of petrol by encouraging people to take the bus instead of driving their cars to work. It is in that tradition that we normally take public transport when conducting business.
For trips that do not require deliveries, we actually take the LRT 2 Purple Line to Recto & hop onto a jeepney to Dangwa, and back. For actual deliveries, we take the car from Dangwa instead of having to come from Antipolo. This way, we do not have to charge exorbitant delivery fees.
For out-of-town deliveries (i.e. Tagaytay), we have what we call Delivery-for-Pick Up, a scheme wherein we deliver to a set meeting place where another group from your end will complete the journey to your preps place. This way, we do not have to levy Out-of-Town charges.
B. The Internet As A Green Tool
70% of couples booked with Vatel Manila found us via the internet. Since a lot of our couples are based overseas, all our transactions happen online. We rarely grant face-to-face meetings with the exception of couples booked at The Mango Farm. Maintaining a virtual office definitely brings down our overhead costs thus allowing us to lower our prices for the benefit of our couples.
We have likewise made use of Facebook as a tool for cascading information as well as sharing updates, notices, and ideas. We have utilized Gmail Chat / Facebook / Yahoo Messenger to "talk" to our overseas brides.
Our reply efficiency is 90% (within 48 hours from receipt of the email). What we are currently working on is our turnaround time (time from receipt of filled-up form to the costing proper). We admit that our turnaround time is very poor: 2-3 weeks before a costing is sent back. This is because we do not repeat bridal bouquet designs, but we're working on improving this already.
C. Being Green As A Way of Life
More than a company policy, being & thinking green is a way of life. Our font choice for our printed documents, for example, is Century Gothic which, according to studies, uses 30% less ink than Arial.
Our forms are filled up via email & our Service Contracts are signed online thus taking away the need for travel & meetings.
D. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
The EUREPGAP label found on the boxes of our imported flowers signify compliance with GLOBAL G.A.P "which serves as a practical manual for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) anywhere in the world. The basis is an equal partnership of agricultural producers and retailers who wish to establish efficient certification standards and procedures. The GLOBALG.A.P standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food, or certain farm products like flowers, are produced on the farm by minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare."
The GLOBAL G.A.P website contains comprehensive information for all interested parties: producers, suppliers, retailers, journalists and consumers. Visit it here.
E. End child labor now! Promote Workers' Welfare!
When my Mother was still living, she championed the cause of ending child labor in the Philippines when she was the National Coordinator for Learning of PLAN Philippines. She also was a member of the International Labour Organization's Task Force on Child Labor.
In her memory, Vatel Manila supports the global movement to end child labor by buying Ecuadorian roses that carry the Flor Ecuador & FLP logos. Learn more about Flor Ecuador here. For more details on the Flower Label Program, read here.
F. UNICEF Philippines
Your belief in Vatel Manila can go a long way. For every booking made, 5% is automatically allotted for UNICEF Philippines in our bid to help reduce the incidence of child labor and bring children-workers back to school. We will turn over to you the Metrobank deposit slip as proof of your donation on the day we deliver your flowers.
Program begins January 2013.
G. Bias for Local Farmers.
Since 2006, Vatel Manila has decreed that flowers used in our arrangements be 80% locally sourced. To support our farmers, we buy directly from farm owners, not from middlemen. Supporting our farmers also spur further research & development in improving our local floral species.
For us, it's not about just buying & using flowers. It's buying & using flowers responsibly.