MJBiz Buyers Guide: Sustainability - 18

MJBizDaily Buyers Guide Sustainability
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Stem's company embraces CO2 extraction, which produces waste products that can be easily
composted. Additionally, Peak Extracts uses a grading system with three tiers of solvents, and her
team uses clean, recycled solvent for cleaning.
" Most solvents used for cleaning equipment or washing extracts can be filtered, distilled and
reused practically indefinitely, " Stem continues. " When a piece of glassware or extraction
equipment is dirty, we use a solvent already partially saturated with extract/solute. ... As a result,
we use less solvent, and when we reclaim it, we have a supersaturated solution to distill into fresh
solvent and bonus extract. "
Axie Blundon's company applies a similar reuse method for their ethanol-based extraction
operation, which he says is part of House of Brandstracts' plant-based business model.
" Ethanol is made from plants-primarily corn-as opposed to butane, which is made from natural
gas, " Blundon says. " We use our ethanol up to five to six times-and sometimes more-until it is no
longer effective as a solvent. After that, we use it to clean the whole lab. "
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blundon's company used these repurposed byproducts to
produce hand sanitizers. The pivot resulted in a new sanitizer brand, Helios.
MAXIMIZING ENERGY USE AT EXTRACTION FACILITIES
Maximizing energy use is another area where extraction facilities can take a more sustainable
approach.
Practical strategies to reduce power consumption at extraction facilities include:
* Running machinery during off-peak hours, when there's less demand on the electric grid.
* Investing in equipment capable of assessing and limiting energy consumption.
* Applying manufacturing standards that increase energy efficiency.
" We are very careful about how much, how often and when we operate our extraction equipment, "
says Stem. " On particularly hot days ... we abstain from using it altogether to avoid air conditioning
consumption, and on cold days we recapture the heat from the system to warm our factory. "
Stem emphasizes her business is fortunate to have access to 100% hydroelectric power rather than
hydrocarbon-derived electricity.
" We run a sustainability audit regularly and are continually trying to derive ways to be more
thoughtful about our impact, " she adds. " We believe it is the right thing to do and will give us an
advantage in the eyes of our customers. "
18
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MJBiz Buyers Guide: Sustainability

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