By Roland Sebestyén
In a historic move a medical cannabis and industrial hemp company has been given the Toitū carbonzero certification in New Zealand.
Greenfern Industries became the country’s very first carbonzero medical cannabis company after environmental certification provider Toitū Envirocare completed its audit.
According to the company, the process saw Greenfern analyse all aspects of its organisational carbon footprint, develop a reduction plan and introduced a number of sustainability measures including the way in which it processes its hemp as efficiently as possible.
Greenfern managing director Dan Casey said: “We’re incredibly proud of this certification as it speaks to our core value – to be New Zealand’s most environmentally friendly medicinal cannabis company.
“The medicinal cannabis industry has quite a large environmental and carbon footprint due to high energy inputs.
“We want to be a world-leading example of sustainability in the industry and to help set the standard for environmentally friendly cannabis and hemp production.
“The highest overhead cost in a medicinal cannabis indoor growing operation is power.
“While having access to cost-price power is a game changer for us in terms of how competitive it will make the price of our products, being able to grow our plants in a more environmentally friendly way is just as important to us.”
The company said it had gotten the permission to start generating power at their hydroelectric power station on the Waingongoro River in Taranaki.
Greenfern said it is also setting up a high-tech aeroponic grow room at its headquarters which will use less water, fewer nutrients and less electricity when compared to conventional hydroponic cannabis grow rooms.
Mr Casey added: “With the medicinal cannabis industry having such a large environmental footprint globally, it seems wrong to introduce conventional cannabis production systems to New Zealand.
“We believe we have a responsibility to set an example in sustainable and carbon-neutral cannabis production for this budding new industry in New Zealand.
“We’ve built our business model from the ground up with sustainability in mind, with a focus on reducing water usage, reducing waste of all kinds and reducing our carbon footprint.”