Posted on 2018.04.19
Mantioba Harvest was the first food manufacturer in Canada to completely offset their carbon footprint. A Manitoba producer of hemp food products, the company is Carbonzero certified. Manitoba Harvest now operates as 100% carbon neutral.
As a producer of hemp snacks, protein powders, and oils, Manitoba Harvest wanted to add eco-friendly to the list. With two busy facilities, one in Winnipeg and one in St. Agathe, the company needed a little help. Carbonzero has had the pleasure of assisting Manitoba Harvest during their zero carbon journey. As a result, the company can now make the eco-friendly claim. Manitoba Harvest is also the first of their kind in be certified in Canada.
“We are concerned about a triple bottom line approach,” says Ryan Bracken, Manitoba Harvest’s VP of Innovation, “We’re concerned about not only profit, but people and the planet as well… we care passionately about the environment and the communities we work in.”
Manitoba Harvest sought a third-party agency registered with the Canadian Standards Association of Clean Projects. Fortunately, they found Carbonzero. As an environmentally conscious business, working with Carbonzero seemed like a good fit. So, the company hired Carbonzero to help reduce and offset their carbon emissions.
“Carbonzero helps companies measure, manage, and mitigate their footprint,” says Dan Fraleigh, Chief Operating Officer, “Manitoba Harvest is Carbonzero’s only Manitoba based partner so far.”
The first step for Manitoba Harvest was to figure out their climate impact. Calculating its carbon footprint, the company was able to estimate its environmental impact. In order to curb contributors to carbon emissions including the use of electricity and natural gas, a quick calculation was in order. Manitoba Harvest needed to know how much they were consuming both to determine how to get to net-zero emissions.
“Carbonzero tracked Manitoba Harvest’s data and determined the company’s footprint was 650 tons per year,” explains Bracken, “4,000 megawatts of power is our annual usage. We are able to procure that many wind credits… there is a natural carbon footprint benefit through utilization of wind, so therefore part of our 650 tons of offsetting comes from that purchase of wind credits.”
In other words, Carbonzero recommended purchasing carbon offsets to offset that 650 tons of CO2e.
Manitoba Harvest is located in the prairies. Naturally, investment in an initiative that reduces greenhouse gases via wind farms would make sense. Wind is never in short supply in Manitoba. By purchasing “wind credits” through both Carbonzero and Manitoba Hydro, the company has reduced their climate impact. Financially sponsoring wind farms has been an excellent solution. Manitoba sponsors farms located in St. Leon and St. Joseph, Manitoba.
“It’s [also] a method for the wind farms themselves to be profitable, over and above the going rate of power,” explains Bracken.
While it helps a lot, purchasing wind credits alone isn’t enough. To make Manitoba Harvest carbon neutral, more offsets are needed. As a result, they are also sponsoring an Improved Forest Management project in the Niagara Escarpment. Manitoba Harvest has invested in two offset project provided by Carbonzero.
Of course, becoming carbon neutral also comes from changes and within a business. In addition to purchasing wind credits and investing in projects, other changes need to be made. Paired with carbon offsetting, Manitoba Harvest has experienced a 20% reduction in gasoline usage by making changes to their shipping process.
“There was always the assumption that 24 pallets was a full truckload,” explains Bracken. “We recognized that if you shift the pallets sideways you can fit 30 on truck.”
Bracken says that Manitoba Harvest is constantly looking for ways to become more efficient to benefit the planet. While offsets are a big part of the solution, there is more work to be done.
“It’s been a journey,” says Bracken, “We really wanted to amp this up in the past year here. We recognize we’re a growing organization. And we have a mandate by our consumers to really take care.”
If you would like to learn more about our projects give us a call today. We can help your business achieve its greener goals. With our help you can navigate change with ease. Switching to a greener way doesn’t have to have a big impact on your bottom line. If you’d like to be Carbonzero Certified, let’s chat!