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Curaleaf is championing social impact in the cannabis industry

Home » Curaleaf is championing social impact in the cannabis industry

Curaleaf’s social impact report highlights community achievements and the positive impact of its corporate social responsibility work.

Curaleaf launched its Rooted in Good programme in February 2021. The programme focuses on three core pillars: diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), social equity and sustainability.

The company has launched a number of initiatives to meet these goals, including partnering with 420 diverse suppliers and brands by 2025, launching its first ever-social equity focused brand with partner B NOBLE, as well as internal workplace diversity initiatives and implementing new sustainable manufacturing practices.

The report highlights the advancements the company has made in its work under the three pillars. As part of its 420 x 25 Supplier Diversity commitment, Curaleaf is doing business with 420 new cannabis brands, ancillary suppliers and advocacy organisations from underrepresented communities and the company is now working with more than 100 new and diverse partners and suppliers after one year of the programme.

Helping individuals

One of Curaleaf’s first 420×25 retail partners in 2021 is Bouqé, a Black-owned premier rolling paper brand founded in 2017. The report highlights that since joining the partnership, Bouqé experienced 300 per cent increase in revenue, 760 per cent increase in unit sales and a 400 per cent increase in overall orders.

Corey Dunson, founder and CEO of Bouqé and 420×25 partner, stated in the report: “Our relationship with Curaleaf has helped us scale and meet consumers across different markets. I have also definitely gained some skills as an entrepreneur in terms of conducting business and best practices.”

Read more: Curaleaf International on the growth of the European cannabis market

Curaleaf’s senior vice president of corporate social responsibility, Khadijah Tribble, commented: “As a leader in today’s cannabis industry, we understand the responsibility that we carry to prioritise fostering a cannabis environment that is equitable, diverse and sustainable for the many communities we serve.

”We’re humbled to be in a position to help right the wrongs of the past, to the best of our ability, and work to increase equity in the cannabis industry. There is more work to do, but we’re confident about the programmes and initiatives we’ve built that meet Curaleaf’s capabilities to be Rooted in Good long term.”

The company has stated it is actively working towards its goal for 10 per cent of its team members to come from populations touched by low-level cannabis-related offences. In 2021, 3.7 per cent percentage of new hires met this criteria, and the company is taking steps to increase that number in 2022.

Curaleaf has also set a goal to contribute at least $1m in community investment to programmes that address collateral consequences associated with marijuana-related offences, and, in total, Curaleaf and Select brands contributed over $2,400,000 to partner organisations in 2021.

Its initiatives have also included a national fundraiser and product affiliated donations benefiting local organisations for Breast Cancer Action Month, the launch of its “Feed the Block” programme combatting food insecurity, and a national fundraiser and product affiliated donations benefiting Veterans Alliance for Holistic Alternatives (VAHA).

Additionally, it has launched the Curaleaf Executive Roundtable, which provides mentorship, education, networking opportunities and entrepreneurial support for people from communities harmed by the War on Drugs. Since its launch, 19 individuals in need of support from established business professionals have joined, who have gone on to open dispensaries and create new product lines.

Helping the environment

With the cannabis industry having an impact on the environment through electricity use and issues such as plastic packaging, Curaleaf is focusing on becoming a more sustainable cannabis company.

The report highlights that it has established an internal Sustainability Task Force and has partnered with Map Collective, a carbon tracking and supply chain transparency startup, and has now completed Phase 1 of its environmental work which is establishing its baseline environmental footprint. 

The report states: “Using MTCO2e (metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) as a measurement for our environmental impact, it is estimated that Curaleaf’s 2021 emissions reached 22,000 MTCO2e. This comprised of 1,747 Scope 1 GHG emissions and 20,034 Scope 2 emissions.”

The company will now begin working with an environmental partner to develop a carbon neutrality and recycling action plan, and is currently is reviewing all submissions before selecting its final partner.

It is also putting a focus on sustainability, and has joined the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International’s Cannabis Subcommittee on Sustainability. The Committee of Cannabis was established to develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes, directly tied to the key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The company’s packaging vendor has also launched an ocean plastic recycling initiative in the Dominican Republic, with a target of 100 per cent upcycled plastic for all plastic packaging components by 2023.

Curaleaf’s sustainability focus is stretching into the company’s facilities, where it is currently testing a facility design that has humidity pulled from indoor grow rooms to be collected and recycled, and it is working with sustainable and natural lighting options to reduce its energy consumption.

CEO of Curaleaf, Joe Bayern, stated: “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to begin this year, the goals we’re working toward and the partnerships we’ve made through Rooted in Good. I truly believe we are leading the industry when it comes to making an impact and setting the standard for meaningful corporate social responsibility that doesn’t just talk but actually walks the walk. 

“This is a testament to the power of Khadijah Tribble, the CSR team and everyone at Curaleaf who works tirelessly every day to hold us accountable to that standard.”

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