30

Years

of vertically integrated Controlled Environment Agriculture

5.5

Million Sq. Ft. Facility

Village Farms’ 5.5 million square foot high-tech facilities in Texas grows cannabis and CBD

97%

Less Land

Village Farms’ growing methods use 97% less land and 86% less water than outdoor growing


The Path to Drawdown: Landfill Gas

Although carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that’s often talked about, methane has 34 times the global warming effect of CO2 over the course of a century. And the biggest source of methane are landfills, accounting for 12% of total global methane emissions.

Methane comes from the organic matter in landfills like food scraps, yard waste, junk wood, and waste paper. Their decomposition produces biogas, a roughly equal mix of carbon dioxide, methane, and small amounts of other gases.

As diets change, waste is reduced, and recycling and composting grow, we’re hopeful that landfill waste as a whole will diminish. But for now, as the modern way of life continues and organic matter in landfills continues to decompose, landfills and landfill methane emissions keep growing. 

The way to manage this is landfill methane capture. This process involves capturing methane generated from anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste in landfills and incinerating the captured biogas to generate electricity. This solution has double benefits: it captures methane from landfills that’s far worse for global warming, and it replaces conventional electricity-generating technologies like coal, oil, and natural gas power plants.

Currently, enough methane is captured to generate 33.1 TWh of electricity, or 0.13% of total electricity generated worldwide. In the best-case scenario for 2050, landfills wouldn’t exist, and integration and waste feedstock availability would mean a net greenhouse gas sequestration, rather than emission. In a less ideal scenario, 70% of the world’s landfills will have adopted methane capture, and they help reduce 2.2 gigatons of CO2e between 2020 and 2050

 

About

Village Farms International, Inc., (stock ticker: VFF) and their subsidiaries produces and sells greenhouse-grown vegetables and botanicals in North America. The company also owns and operates a 7.0 megawatt power plant that generates and sells electricity to British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority. They’re headquartered in Delta, Canada.

VFF's Role in Drawdown

Village Farms’ primary business is to sell greenhouse-grown produce - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and mini-cukes - and cannabis. Their produce business accounted for ~92% and cannabis accounted for ~7.5% of their total 2020 revenue.

But their subsidiary VF Clean Energy (p. 1) owns and operates a 7 MW power plant that captures landfill gas to generate electricity and sells it to British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority.

VFF: What We Like

In November 2020, Village Farms announced that they will be expanding (p. 41) their landfill gas operations by partnering with Mas Energy, LLC. They expect to use the captured gas, convert it to CO2 and make it available to Village Farms for producing crops in its three Delta, Canada vegetable and cannabis greenhouses. This will allow Village Farms to reduce their carbon footprint.

VFF: What We Want to See Improve

Disclose GHG Emissions


As of now, Village Farms doesn’t make their sustainability information available. As investors become increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint in their portfolio, companies need to prioritize transparency around their environmental and sustainability efforts. We want to see Village Farms publish an annual sustainability report, where their direct and indirect GHG emissions, emissions avoided, and energy consumption and energy sources are clearly listed.

Set Emissions Reduction Targets


Once these metrics are disclosed, Village Farms will be in a position to set targets for reducing their emissions. These targets should be science-based and aligned with the global goal to stay below 1.5°C of global warming by mid-century. They should also be accompanied by clear strategies of how to achieve these reductions.

Shift to Clean Banks


One of Village Farms’ subsidiaries has obtained several loans (p. 48) from the Bank of Montreal since 2019. Bank of Montreal is one of the few Canadian banks that funds fracked oil and gas pipeline companies as well as coal mining companies. We urge Village Farms’ executives to switch to financial institutions that have no ties to fossil fuel sectors.

Other Landfill Methane Capture Stocks in the Climate Index

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