Marijuana Firm Hexo Is Now Diving into Carbon-neutral Cannabis Business

With the recent success stories of legalization and medical breakthroughs, Cannabis is no longer an alien product in most parts of the world. Especially in countries like the US and Canada, cannabis laws and regulations have come a long way, which means that the industry is rapidly growing on most fronts.

Like most modern-age industries, the cannabis industry will eventually need to move onto sustainable solutions for the environment. Even though it’s still early days for this industry, some companies have started giving it due consideration, making them the leading players in the game.

Hexo Corp from Canada is the first notable cannabis company that aims to reduce carbon emissions. It’s a company with nearly 1200 employees, and it aims to become carbon neutral by September this year.

In a recent post, Hemp Industry Daily shared what the company’s CEO aims for to make his company more sustainable for the environment.

Carbon Neutrality Plan from Hexo

Hexo is a Canadian firm co-founded by Sebastian St. Louis, who is also the company’s CEO. It’s a publicly-traded company located in Ontario. Sebastian mentions that since his company is now making a good profit, its next goal is to become a leader in the environmental sector.

Marijuana indoor farm.

In the effort to promote environmental sustainability, the carbon-neutrality plan from this company was introduced this month. This plan follows an extensive study spanning over three months that focused on intense carbon consumption from indoor Cannabis grow rooms.

Even though this is just the beginning, Hexo wants to keep things secretive regarding spending on the carbon neutrality plan. However, the estimated figures suggest that it shouldn’t exceed a million Canadian dollars annually.

Louis believes that it’s not all that easy for people to shift their lifestyles to no carbon emissions suddenly. So, his company wants to give them a chance to slowly change to adopting environment-friendly habits to save the planet and eventually become carbon neutral.

Buying Carbon Offsets

Offsetting carbon is one of the quicker methods to inflict some impact on carbon emissions. However, compared to other methods like alternative packaging techniques, it can be a bit time-consuming, so these methods may take longer to give some results.

Therefore, Hexo links with an Offsetter from Vancouver. It’s a carbon management service provider which aims to help the Great Bear Forest Project. This project started to protect the forest from commercial logging, and it’s on-going for nearly 25 years.

Furthermore, the project also provides stewardship opportunities to indigenous communities to protect the Great Bear Forest. Currently, it can annually offset up to a million tons of carbon.

St. Louis believes that it’s not just offset but literal carbon. St. Louis gave an interesting analogy to determine the amount of carbon going inside the earth. So, he explains that when a tree absorbs carbon in the air, it goes back to the root system. Since one-quarter of the tree stays inside the ground, it’s the same amount of carbon that goes into the earth.

Hexo Leading the Way

Hexo launched a range of hemp beverages in Colorado this year. Even though it’s a marijuana company, it continues to expand into the hemp business. For the beverage line, Hexo took services from Truss Beverages.

With its feet firmly established, Hexo now challenges Molson Coors and other cannabis companies and partners to come up with more environment-friendly plans and make ESG their priority.

St. Louis believes that offsetting carbon is only the first step in support of the environment. He aims to go further beyond sustainability norms where the companies would promote the plantation of new trees rather than just preventing deforestation.

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How Offsetting Employees Will Affect

The idea behind the offsetting plan is to determine each employee’s carbon emissions. It will cost around $800 per employee every year. According to St. Louis, emphasizing environmental sustainability on individuals will not bring about the needed change. Large corporations must step forward.

He added that if the top 100 companies of Canada came forward to offset the employees’ carbon emissions, simply by planting more trees, it can produce a mass effect on the environment and fight carbon emissions. If you look at the impact, the cost of the initiative isn’t that high.

St. Louis believes that 800 dollars per employee are not a bad cost considering that the planet is touching dangerous temperature levels and calls for immediate implementation of such initiatives worldwide.

Not only should the companies take the responsibility, St. Louis believes that the government must make it mandatory for the companies to follow the plan if we are to sustain the planet for future generations.

St Louis believes that there is still time for them to act, and it shouldn’t be more complicated than that.

Hexo to Reduce Carbon Emissions Too

Offsetting isn’t the only venture Hexo has taken upon. It also aims to reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, it will reduce waste production in its supply chain. These measures include reducing plastic in packaging, finding more sustainable options, and practicing green energy solutions where possible.

Workspace with laptop on desk.

Moreover, it aims to produce more virtual workplaces to sustain carbon emissions. The idea is to reduce for the next 20 years and observe its impacts. The most efficient way to offset carbon is to stop producing it.

Even though Hexo hasn’t wholly replaced plastic bags and packaging, it is slowly shifting from jars to pouches with less plastic. According to St. Louis, they have plastic alternatives in place on their office desks.

To implement plastic-free packaging, the company has now taken help from Dymapak and Plastic Bank. The latter recycles plastic for manufacturing. St Louis says that they plan to pay for the plastic waste from third-world countries. The aim is to dispose of plastic to protect the environment safely.

Conclusion

Right now, Hexo has already offset 63,000 kg of plastic through Plastic Bank. Roughly, it’s about 3.1 million plastic bottles. Hexo has already attracted several investors who might jump in for energy-efficient and sustainable solutions with such initiatives.

St. Louis believes that companies can start small. They don’t need to take drastic measures straightaway. With small yet sustainable solutions, companies can play a significant role in protecting the environment in the longer run. 

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