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"Canadian greenhouse growers facing a "sustainability tsunami"

"A sustainability tsunami will soon hit the Canadian greenhouse industry. That's my conclusion after attending the 2015 Canadian Greenhouse Conference," says David Arkell, CEO of 360 Energy. Presenter after presenter at the 2015 Canadian Greenhouse Conference made it clear that it will not be enough for Canada's greenhouse operators to increase yields and product quality. At the same time, they will need to also improve water and energy efficiency.

By David Arkell, 360 energy

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Topics at the 2015 Conference included examples of precision growing; reducing water and energy use, and lighting efficiency. European greenhouses, particularly from those in Holland, showcased zero emissions practices. Delegates were told they could lose their social license to produce if they don't manage environmental issues responsibly.

"Utility costs and energy use are larger factors for Canadian greenhouse growers than ever before," observed Arkell. Industry leader, Eric Doef of Doef's Greenhouses in Alberta, told the conference, "We rely on our energy consultant, 360 Energy, as much as we rely on our growing consultant."

Strong competition within the industry is driving these trends. More growers are turning to artificial lights to boost crop yields and for year-round production. As a consequence, energy use and costs are becoming a larger component of greenhouse grower operations across the country.

"The sustainability challenge is like a tsunami coming at the greenhouse industry," said Arkell. "On one hand, it is driving stronger consumer demand for quality produce grown locally. On the other, government regulations and programs to address climate issues will make growers more conscious about having a smaller carbon footprint."

"Our Journey to Energy Excellence for Greenhouses Program is a great tool to help growers manage these risks and exploit these opportunities," said Arkell. "360 Energy is at the forefront of helping the industry thrive and prosper in these circumstances. Canadian Greenhouse owners should seriously consider enrolling in our Journey to Energy Excellence Program and stay ahead of the wave that is coming."

The Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2015 was held at Niagara Falls, Ontario on October 7 & 8, 2015. Click here for a photo recap from HortiDaily.

For more information:
360 Energy Inc.
David Arkell
[email protected]
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