case study: greenhouse agriculture
GREENHOUSE AGRICULTURE: CASE STUDY
Vital, lively and green: Cultures Gen V's commitment to innovative, sustainable greenhouse agriculture.
Cultures Gen V inc. is the largest greenhouse producers of leafy greens in northeastern North America. In business for over 36 years, the family-owned company produces Boston and specialty hydroponic lettuces, cucumbers, mini cucumbers, tomatoes and organic peppers. The company now employs 450 people and proudly represents the region across North America. Gen V is the desire of a generation to grow vegetables with respect for people and the environment. It’s a movement that sees green, living, life, in the future. Their ambition is to grow better, to eat with conscience, to consume according to our values and to create a future that resembles us.
Sustainable Community member information
- Name: Cultures Gen V
- Sector: Agriculture
- Sub-sector : Greenhouse farming
- Organization type : Business / SME
- Location: Ste-Clothide, Portneuf, Ham-Nord, Saint-Jérôme, QC, Canada
Cultures Gen V’s climate challenge
Cultures Gen V wanted to address a number of climate challenges prior to its carbon commitment with Solutions Will. Here are a few of them:
- Measuring water discharges to implement water efficiency measures
Improving organic production waste management
- Studying the possibility of replacing expanded polystyrene cultivation panels with plastic panels
- Divert agricultural plastics from landfill for recycling
- Add value to our downgraded products and find a market for them
- Implement recycling and composting in foreign workers’ homes
How to take part and contribute to decarbonization?
Carbon reduction and monetization
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Carbon neutrality and net zero
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Actions implemented to decarbonize agriculture
Sustainable Community membership
carbon footprint measurements
listed buildings and infrastructures
Types of GHG reduction projects developed
years of commitment
2 types of GHG reduction projects have been developed by the company to decarbonize its activities.
?Waste management projects (12 microprojects) : diversion from landfill of biomass residues.
?Energy conversion projects (76 microprojects): energy conversion of greenhouse heating system using propane to biomass (for 76 greenhouses).
Cultures Gen V also achieved further reductions in GHG emissions by recycling their agricultural plastic, which was also diverted from landfill.
The company also recycled more than 198 tonnes of urban wood from the City of Montreal in July 2023, which was destined for landfill, to heat its greenhouses.
Last but not least, the partnership with Les Complices Alimentaires makes it possible to recycle local fruit and vegetables that have been downgraded into low-cost frozen products, via points of sale with voluntary freezer cabinets. This project also supports the path to employment for people in difficulty.
“One of Culture Gen V Inc.’s priorities is to evolve while respecting the planet as a whole. We believe that business growth should not be achieved at the expense of the environment. We therefore want to equip our team members, suppliers and customers to understand the importance of adopting responsible behaviors.
The solution proposed by Will Solutions enables us to assess the impact of our strategies while facilitating the implementation of our values through concrete actions. The Will Solutions team stands out for its responsiveness, and thanks to their expertise, we have been able to sell carbon credits, generating a positive return on investment.
Our involvement in the Sustainable Community has also strengthened our visibility and brand image while increasing our employees’ satisfaction and sense of belonging. Many members of our staff are delighted to see our company playing an active role in the Sustainable Community, which fosters pride and enthusiasm.”
Jonathan Drolet, Project Manager at Cultures Gen V
Results of the decarbonization strategy
tons of Co2e reduced (since 2010)
tonnes of Co2e reduced annually (2018 figures)
CAD paid in one year to the member (2023 figures)
The Eye of WILL: decarbonization lessons for the agricultural sector
Here are some key tips for businesses in the agricultural sector to help reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change.
1. Emissions monitoring and reporting: Accurately track greenhouse gas emissions from your greenhouse operations and report them transparently. Use this data to identify areas for improvement. Will can help you measure your carbon footprint!
2. Transition to renewable energy sources: Invest in clean energy sources such as biomass, hydroelectric, solar, wind or geothermal to power your greenhouses. Using renewable energy can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Improve energy efficiency: Adopt cutting-edge technologies to optimize energy management in your greenhouses, such as automation, temperature control, and the use of energy-efficient LEDs for lighting. Set up cogeneration systems to simultaneously produce heat and electricity from biomass. Opt for heating and cooling systems that minimize energy losses, such as heat pumps. Use high-quality insulation materials to reduce heat loss.
4. Sustainable water management: Recycle and reuse water efficiently to minimize freshwater consumption. Adopt precision irrigation technologies to reduce water wastage.
5. Select climate-resilient crops: Choose crops that are adapted to local conditions and require less energy, water and resources to grow. Explore disease- and pest-resistant varieties to minimize pesticide use.
6. Use biomaterials and recyclable plastics: Look for sustainable alternatives to traditional plastics, such as bio-based or recyclable plastics. Use greenhouse materials that are sustainable and have a low carbon footprint.
7. Training and awareness: Train your staff in sustainable agricultural practices and energy management. Raise awareness among your employees, customers and stakeholders of the importance of decarbonization in the greenhouse farming sector.
By following this advice, greenhouse businesses can reduce their carbon footprint while improving their profitability and long-term sustainability.