What is true sustainability?
True sustainability is circular rather than linear. One of the most effective strategies for actively promoting sustainability is by adopting circular economy principles. This is where materials and products are kept in circulation for as long as possible instead of replacing them using new resources. It has many benefits, all of which play a role in securing a sustainable future.
It is now becoming imperative for individuals, organisations, governments and other stakeholders to embed sustainability into every aspect of their business or operations, to actively tackle climate change. Here are 5 ways we at Light Science Technologies (LST) practice true sustainability:
1. Driving AgTech innovation to disrupt the global food system
New technology investment must be the priority to create more sustainable and regenerative practices. More and more, the industry’s attention is turning to AgTech innovation.
As it stands, over 80% of all farmable land is already in use and the world population is exploding, projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050. The food system accounts for more than one third of EU Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and according to new comprehensive research published in Nature Food, food-system emissions amounted to 18 Gt CO2 equivalent per year globally, representing 34% of total GHG emissions. At 71%, the largest contribution in GHG emissions comes from agriculture and land use/land-use change activities.
Indoor farming is becoming more widely practiced in response to the burgeoning issues concerning global food production, with vertical farming offering one viable solution in transforming food systems towards sustainability. Using less water and more clean, renewable energy, vertical farms are designed to reduce the environmental impact, growing ‘up’ rather than ‘out’, at the same time producing better food. They also need far less land than open field farms and have the ability to produce more in a smaller space. For instance, a single acre of indoor vertical farming has the potential to yield the equivalent of between x10 and x20 acres of produce grown traditionally. There are also new developments in greenhouse technology which are improving heating systems to become more sustainable and reduce carbon footprint.
2. Sustainability in LED grow lighting
As one of our core values, sustainability has driven the need to create our new product range nurturGROW, to deliver a technology-led, environmentally friendly solution for both growers and the earth. Sustainable LED grow lights reduce energy usage for indoor farmers, delivering dual benefits to their bottom line and the environment.
nurturGROW’s design consists of four core component parts, minimising the amount of materials needed to drastically cut down on waste. 90% of all components can be recycled and 85% can be re-used to upgrade to the latest technology, in a way that aims to have less impact on the environment. It is also backed by a 25-year product lifecycle, to ensure growers maximise use of every element over a longer lifespan.
LEDs need replacing regularly, every five years or so. In most cases, that means replacing the whole lighting infrastructure, but nurturGROW is designed to reduce waste – that’s both energy and space. It drastically cuts down on landfill waste by over 100 tonnes compared to other competitors, thanks to its reusable design.
3. Every LED grow light = 1 tree planted
As a business with sustainability at the heart of its agenda, we look at the bigger picture that involves delivering long-term, far-reaching solutions to make food systems more sustainable.
That’s why for every product sold, we will donate $1 to One Tree Planted to plant one tree and support projects that help sustainable agriculture. We have joined forces as part of a mutual commitment to champion global reforestation efforts and raise awareness of the importance of ecosystem restoration. It’s our way of giving back to the environment and reducing our carbon footprint and our customers’.
4. Increased energy efficiency, reduced costs for growers
nurturGROW of course offers direct benefits to indoor growers as a sustainable business investment. These include optimised plant performance, maximum crop yield and improved quality. The luminaire’s body combined with interchangeable LEDs, power, and technology also reduces both CAPEX and OPEX cost.
Not only does it provide better light quality but it’s at lower energy costs, saving growers up to a third on future costs. It is a tailored solution that has the potential to offer greater returns on investment by allowing indoor farmers to grow more for less.
5. Partnerships with change leaders
In 2020, LST was awarded funding from Innovate UK, as part of its Transforming Food Production (TFP) challenge, to support the UK’s most innovative technology to boost agricultural productivity and set food production systems towards net zero emissions by 2040.
The funding was to support the development of our sensor and innovative transmission technology in partnership with academic experts from Nottingham Trent University. Our IoT precision data solution for indoor farming is to help boost productivity and efficiency, reflecting the government’s drive to help the agricultural sector grow economically with less environmental impact.
Its important for us to find synergy with other like-minded individuals and organisations who are committed in actively making that crucial step change in the way we produce food and in sustainable performance.
To find out more about our truly sustainable approach to lighting and sensor technology for your indoor farming business, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01332 410601.