Mitsubishi Electric’s Jet Towel hand dryers are helping one of Britain’s most dynamic florists combine strong and sustained business growth with a commitment to the environment.
JZ Flowers in the East Riding of Yorkshire produces around 8% of all the flower bouquets sold by UK supermarkets, having grown from a husband and wife operation barely 15 years ago. It has wholesale and retail operations with significant operations in Ireland, Spalding and Holland, which between them handle around 150 million stems per annum. In recent years it has also diversified into the supply of indoor plants.
Its steady expansion led to it operating from several buildings in and around Hull. Three years ago it took over a large horticultural nursery and gained planning permission to build a 6,500 square metre packhouse, with options to double this as the business grows.
With the dedicated facility designed and built JZ moved in early 2010, consolidating operations and ready to continue its success story.
“Operating from a single site, we have improved our efficiency and reduced our environmental impact,” say Wayne Rowlatt, one of the directors. “We are always very mindful of our carbon footprint, and chose low energy fittings for the new building wherever possible.”
The new building has several washrooms, each with a number of hand dryers, the collective energy usage from which could be considerable. JZ decided to investigate possibilities for low energy dryers.
“There were several options to look at,” recalls Wayne. “Some fell at the first hurdle, by not saving much energy at all; others were noisy or ugly or not reliable, which just didn’t fit with our ethos.”
A rigorous selection process led JZ to the Jet Towel. This does not work in the same way as conventional hand dryers. Instead of heating a large quantity of air to evaporate moisture from just-washed, it accelerates a laminar flow of air to blow the water off the hands and into a drain.
“The Jet Towels look smart and are a joy to use. They only take about 10 seconds and your hands are completely dry. They are so quiet compared to other dryers and use only about 10 percent as much energy.
“At JZ Flowers, we are committed to reducing the negative impact which our operations may have on the environment and have set ourselves stretching, but realistic targets in all areas. As well as energy usage in our facilities we are looking at utilising renewable energies, recycling more of our waste streams and optimising logistics. We are also committed to Fair Trade and supporting suppliers from developing countries.”
Over the last 10 years or so flowers and plants have become a big part of many
people’s lives, literally bringing colour and vitality to millions of homes; these days they’re not just associated with life’s big events, flowers and plants make us feel better every day. The growth in the market looks set to continue and JZ Flowers are well placed to help meet this growing demand.