Sustainable cannabis has the potential to save the world. As it grows, it removes contaminants from the soil. When harvested, it can be used as fuel, food or fiber. From hemp textiles to biofuels to building materials and medicines, their versatility is virtually unmatched in the natural world.
However, despite its wonderful properties, the legal industry is gaining a reputation for being “unsustainable.” Is Cannabis and today’s technology mission, in collaboration with Regennabis, to demonstrate that the cannabis industry can be sustainable, environmentally friendly and a valuable tool in the global fight against climate change.
To show the brands that adopt these ideals, Cannabis and technology today launched the Sustainable Leadership Awards. Now in its second year, these awards serve to highlight the great work that is being done in the sector.
Sustainability is possible. Even a small step in the right direction can inspire a cascade of followers. The companies described below act as leaders, demonstrating that responsible growth is possible.
The Sustainable Leadership Awards include nine categories. This year, there were three categories for which Cannabis and technology today and Regennabis did not award any winners: SDGs, Social Impact and Event.
Although applicants in these categories are doing a good job in their respective fields, the advisory board did not receive enough data to support their applications.
Both of us Cannabis and technology today and Regennabis expect to receive more inspiring applications from industry innovators next year.
The cannabis industry consumes energy. Cannabis producers need to reduce their energy consumption through innovation and incorporate renewable energy into their practices. With that in mind, the 2021 Sustainable Leadership Award for Energy Use is given to California businesses. Marks of the glass house.
The company began using DYNAGLAS panels in its 350,000-square-foot Padaro greenhouse, reducing energy consumption by 20%. In addition, the company’s Dutch greenhouse design and ideal geographical location in California allow for a lower overall environmental impact.
To demonstrate its current energy efficiency and find areas for improvement, the company commissioned a study of its operations from the Seinergy cannabis energy consulting group. The consultancy compared the use of energy in Glass House with the average cannabis cultivation operations in the greenhouse and indoors. The study found that average indoor growth uses 262 kilowatt-hours per square foot of flower (kWh / SF). The average greenhouse growth used 134 kWh / SF. Glass House’s average was 13 kWh / SF.
BDS Analytics reported that Glass House Group’s consumer brand, Glass House Farms, was the best-selling flower brand in California in July 2021. For a brand of such immense size, demonstrate such clear energy savings. and remarkable is a powerful example for the rest of the industry to follow.
ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Investors often analyze ESG metrics as non-financial factors that play a role in a company’s opportunities for growth (or failure). These factors are not usually required in financial reporting, but are important considerations in sustainability reporting.
Environmental metrics can include carbon emissions, air and water pollution, energy efficiency, and waste management. Social factors may include data privacy, diversity reports, human rights practices, and labor standards. Government standards may include reports on executive compensation, political contributions, and lobbying practices.
In 2021, Green Hygienic Holdings Built-in published his first annual ESG report. It is the first industrial hemp company in the United States to publish such a report using the framework of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
The report looked at economic viability, eco-responsibility and social equity. As a USDA-certified organic hemp farm for North America’s largest CBD, Green Hygienics Holdings ’commitment to ESG is a milestone in creating a more sustainable cannabis industry.
Diamond packing is being recognized for its commitment to sustainable leadership in the field of packaging. The company’s Greenbox Sustainability Initiative was created to research, design and implement more sustainable packaging solutions for the cannabis industry.
In 2020, 97% of all packaging in the company was created with renewable or recycled cardboard.
Diamond Packaging is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification. In addition, the company uses wind energy for 100% of its electricity requirements.
Starting in 2021, the company began a multi-year commitment to buy carbon offsets to the extent that the company is carbon neutral in terms of emissions 1 and 2. The company achieved the status of “Zero Waste to Landfill”.
The company has also set a number of targets to reduce its energy and water consumption, plus emissions, by 2% annually over the next 10 years.
Diamond Packaging’s continued commitment to making cannabis packaging more environmentally friendly sets a high standard that all cannabis companies should adhere to.
Recipients of the Sustainable Management Award should demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices that serve to improve their communities and create a stronger cannabis industry.
Holistic health (IHH) is helping to create an industry in the deep south that can withstand changing regulations and become fundamental to the local economy.
Despite the region’s reluctance to adopt medical cannabis, IHH has worked with local lawmakers to create programs that will help the cannabis industry survive and thrive in the future.
The company, led by CEO Dr. Chanda Macias is one of only two cannabis companies in the state of Louisiana. IHH launched the first THC and CBD products in the state, along with licensing partner Southern University.
Dr. Macias has advocated for more treatment options in the state, which now allows inhaled cannabis in addition to tinctures and clichés. The company is incorporating recyclable packaging and compostable packaging materials into its business model, as well as water reduction strategies.
The IHH has developed a multi-phase Emergency Preparedness Plan to adapt to the erratic climate of the region. This planning allowed the company to continue to care for patients without interruption during Hurricane Ida and Hurricane Delta (with the exception of closures for mandatory evacuations).
The IHH is also identifying new treatment modalities for patients with autism spectrum disorder, in addition to the growing body of research on medical cannabis.
The work of Dr. Macias in collaboration with IHH is creating a more resilient, robust and sustainable cannabis industry.
As fresh water becomes increasingly scarce due to global droughts and erratic weather patterns, water conservation is an essential practice for all sectors.
Cannabis cultivation is water intensive. However, the Resource Innovation Institute reported that cannabis consumes a lot less water than most major crops.
In the cannabis industry, irrigation and sanitation account for the majority of its 2.8 billion gallons of annual water consumption. Sanitation, such as rinsing crop tables and sterilizing equipment, uses a lot of water that is often left untreated in the environment.
Geomat, a water recovery system, is helping to curb this waste. Its EPA and OSHA-approved system collects wastewater from the sanitation process and filters it through aerated retention tanks for reuse during the next cleaning process.
Geomat systems can be tied to the sewer after cleaning the water or set up as a closed loop for later use. A Geomat water case study of an indoor cannabis growing facility in Florida provided some powerful data.
Of the 35,100 liters of water used each year to clean and disinfect crop equipment, the company’s Geomat system recycled 31,590 liters of water for later use.
As resource use regulations become stricter, water recycling systems can help producers stay ahead of the curve. More importantly, systems like Geomat help preserve the Earth’s most precious resource for future generations.
Innovation in sustainable technology
One area that demands innovation in this sector is drying and curing.
If you’ve ever visited an artisanal cultivation facility, you may be amazed at all the awesome machinery just to be blown away when you enter the drying room. Plastic storage tanks, rudimentary hanging racks, a rotation of glass jars and timers, and most importantly, a robust air conditioning system to dehumidify and provide precision temperature control. The process can take weeks or months, depending on the location, and requires a lot of energy.
In contrast to weeks of drying in a dehumidified, temperature-controlled environment, Cryo Cure offers an energy-efficient substitute.
Mold, mildew and degradation can be devastating during the drying process, which can lead to crop loss. The natural resources wasted by the loss of crops are enormous.
The Cryo Cure process has been praised by some of the most respected producers in the industry for preserving desirable qualities and delivering a high quality finished product without the risks associated with traditional drying.
For the global cannabis industry, this type of innovation will save countless kilowatt-hours, as well as other natural resources that could have been wasted on improperly cured crops.