Ecological Horti Footprint & Residual Flows

Theme: SDG2/SDG12: Zero Hunger and Responsible consumption and production


This Floriade Dialogie took place on Friday 1 October 2021.

This Floriade Dialogue edition was all about the environmental impacts of horticultural production and maximizing crop yield with minimal environmental impact and net zero discharge and waste. We addressed how sufficient food can be ensured for dense cities with limited surfaces. We discussed multiple ways and innovations in horticulture that will benefit feeding the planet’s population in times of climate change resource depletion.

Horticulture and environmental impacts

The demand for sustainably produced horticultural products, such as fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants, is increasing. At the same time as consumers, manufacturers and retailers want to know more about the environmental impacts of these products. A standard methodology to calculate them is needed. To meet this demand, a project was launched in 2018 to develop uniform calculation guidelines to be accepted throughout the horticultural value chain and in line with European directives. On 20 July 2020, the results and the ‘HortiFootprint Category Rules’ (HFCR) were presented and are now available to the industry.

Vertical Farming; more crop per resource

Horticultural entrepreneurs and other players in the horticultural value chain will monitor the environmental impact, identify hotspots and find areas for improvement of the environmental performance. Within the spectrum of ‘improvements’ Vertical Farming is considered a viable solution to the over-exploitation of agricultural land and the heavy use of natural resources associated with traditional farming practices. Agricultural land is finite and the world’s growing population would require a significant increase in productivity per acre. Greenhouses can be optimised using closed-loop systems that make more efficient use of resources, reducing crop losses.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

The production of food in a closed-loop system using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technologies can potentially mitigate the problems of overuse of natural resources and food shortages. More advanced closed-loop systems can be designed to provide oxygen and water as outputs. CEA technologies are being developed for different scales of operation, contexts and output requirements, and aim to optimise growing conditions and resource use within a closed-loop system for crop cultivation. To advance greenhouse technologies, the scientific community and even greenhouse technology providers are making the practices applicable for use in space.

Advanced closed-loop systems for space

This Floriade Dialogue Webinar will discuss the importance of technologies that will mitigate the problems of natural resource over-utilisation and food shortage. We will touch and emphasise better and advanced closed-loop systems that will realise a common goal: creating next-generation closed-loop, regenerative habitats, and agriculture systems that could sustain a life on earth.


  • 09.45 – 10.00 – Welcome slide and webinar code of conduct
  • 10.00 – 10.05 – Opening by moderator | Xander de Bruine, Program Manager Floriade Dialogues
  • 10.05 – 10.20 – Hortifootprint Category Rules – A full set of environmental impact categories to monitor horticultural production | Speaker: Roline Broekema, Wageningen University & Research Center, The Netherlands
  • 10.20 – 10.35 – Vertical Farming; Smart Urban Food Production Farms with a business model | Speaker: Ard van de Kreeke, CEO, Growx, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 10.35 – 10.50 – Closed-loop system using Controlled Environment Agriculture | Speaker: Mira Merme, Founder & CEO, OneFarm, United Kingdom
  • 10.50 – 11.05 – Plant Cultivation Technologies for Safe Food Production in Space | Speaker: Barbara Belvisi, CEO InterstellarLab, France
  • 11.05 – 11.20 – Panel and Participative Dialogue
  • 11.25 – 11.30 – Wrap up and closing by moderator

This Floriade Dialogue was organised in close cooperation with GreenTech Amsterdam 2021 Live & Online.