Know Your Farm
An Inside Look into Rev’s Sustainability Efforts
Rev’s Sustainability Mission
From our packaging to facilities to ingredients and supply chain, Rev’s commitment to sustainability impacts every aspect of our operations. After all, the cannabis industry seeks to benefit people, animals, and the planet — urging us to always choose the healthier option.
While we are in a very complex and regulated industry, Rev aims to be a real vessel for change and inspire others to do the same. From our privileged position, we must face the uglier aspects of this industry and actively work to change them from within.
Any time our patients, partners, and customers use any of our products, we encourage them to learn more about sustainability and go deeper into the integrity of Rev’s goods and services.
As a major producer of cannabis products in MA, we produce tens of thousands of unique packaged items in any given month. We also supply products to approximately 100 stores across Massachusetts. Given the large scale of our production, we’re always looking for ways to make our packaging as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
We approached this waste challenge proactively by seeking out thoughtful suppliers of environmentally-conscious packaging. Rev interviewed dozens of suppliers for each category of products — tubes, bags, jars, folding boxes, and more. Now, nearly all our packaging is biodegradable, recyclable, or made from post-consumer waste, including our 100% recyclable mylar pinch bags.
One major collaborator towards our sustainable packaging mission is Sana Packaging, which designs and develops cannabis packaging using plant-based, recycled, and regenerative materials. The utilization of 100% ocean-bound plastic and reclaimed ocean plastic in Sana Packaging helps lead the way towards a circular economy for plastics.
All of Rev’s pre-roll tubes, plus our new Mile 62 Melts concentrate caps, are created using reclaimed ocean plastic produced by Sana Packaging. Rev alone has used 874,000 tubes from Sana Packaging since 2019, diverting over 10 tons of plastic from the oceans. And since the beginning of our partnership with Sana, we’ve helped remove 30,216 lbs of plastic from the ocean as well as ocean-bound rivers and tributaries.
By working to close the loop on production waste, we can eliminate the negative effects on our environment from landfills, incineration, and leakage into the ocean. Rev is also working towards reducing the amount of waste inherent in most other companies’ manufacturing processes. With our partners following suit, we can create an even wider positive impact on the planet.
At Rev, the health of our plants is just as important as the health of our people and planet. Along with protecting the earth’s natural resources by using eco-friendly packaging and sustainable ingredients with ethical supply chains, we’ve integrated a host of sustainability measures into our grow facilities. This helps us maximize crop yield with minimal environmental impact.
Housed in a retrofitted industrial and educational building built in 1893, our grow facility is a model of sustainability. Rev’s grow facility currently boasts a vast array of eco-friendly systems, including:
- A geothermal heat pump system for heating and cooling, which allows our energy consumption to come largely from electricity
- A fully integrated lighting, HVAC, and controls solution with liquid-cooled LED light fixtures to substantially reduce energy consumption
- Handheld and permanently installed light meters, which measure actual PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) and provide feedback to the HVAC and lighting controls systems
- Fan-cooled, water-to-air heat exchangers that reject waste heat directly to outside air, reducing the need for energy inputs to cool cultivation spaces
- A plant irrigation system using drip irrigation and automated fertigation to prevent water waste
- Off-site composting for green waste
The sustainability of our grow facilities goes far beyond our tools and technology — it is a foundation for our plant-growing techniques and future plans. Our new Tissue Culture program helps improve propagation efficiency, leading to higher yields. From 100 traditional cuttings or collected plant matter, approximately 70,000 clones can be produced each year.
Because Tissue Culture uses approximately one-tenth of the space that traditional cloning uses, Tissue Culture is 100 times more efficient per square foot than traditional cultivation methods. With tissue culture, 300 square feet can support approximately 2 million clones. The more healthy plants in a given area, the more gains in lighting efficiency can be made.
Rev Ingredients & Supply Chain
Rev has partnered with vendors throughout the world that align with our mindset of taking care of the earth and its inhabitants. When it comes to ingredients and supply chain, it’s critical to see this mission all the way through. This was the impetus for the “Know Your Farm” project (KYF), which Rev began in 2021.
With KYF, Rev promised to consider the supply chains of all our ingredients — everything from when and where it’s produced, how it’s produced, to its incorporation into the final product. KYF is a first step in our multi-year journey to inspect our commodities, analyze their environmental impact, and adjust as necessary wherever possible.
By inspecting the supply chains of our highest volume goods for traceability, we can determine the ethical nature of its ingredients and find areas for improvement. Although this exploration may never be complete — the tools, ingredients, and transportation needs of the cannabis industry are broad and complex — we can and will keep striving towards progress, together.
When Rev set out on our journey towards sustainability, we came across a far more intensive and entangled mission: optimizing our downstream products for supply-chain cleanliness. This project involves ongoing research and integration even more demanding than ethical ingredient sourcing. But KYF will continue, regardless of the challenges ahead. Learn more about KYF, fueled by our co-founder Ryan Ansin’s dedication to sustainable ingredients and sourcing, through additional reading found here and here.
Edibles account for nearly 20 percent of adult-use cannabis sales in Mass, so Rev decided to start our sustainability journey here. We considered our top commodities by volume and began researching, testing, replacing, and moving down the list.
Sugar can have little to no traceability when purchased through traditional avenues. After a long search for a new sugar supplier, Rev discovered Natíve. Natíve is a Brazilian company that produces carbon-negative, fair trade sugar within a regenerative agricultural framework — a world-renowned solution.
By using Natíve’s Fair-Trade Regenerative Organic Certified Sugar, we are able to support taking care of the earth in a sustainable way through regenerating soil as opposed to the common practice of burning the land post-harvest.
Rev uses six to eight tons of sugar annually in i am edible and Mr. Moxey’s Mint products, and we make upwards of 100,000 chocolate bars each year. This means the scale of our positive impact on the environment and local economies through sugar usage is immense.
Rev’s transition to República Del Cacao supports our dedication to promoting sustainability, increasing product quality, and using chocolate that’s traceable to a single source. Rev’s República Del Cacao lineup includes White Chocolate Ecuador 31%, Milk Chocolate Ecuador 40% Caramelized, and Dark Chocolate Dominican Republic 62%.
República Del Cacao chocolate is entirely processed in Ecuador, and most cocoa is grown in Ecuador as well. This allows profits to stay as close to its origin as possible, a metric for sustainable purchasing practiced in many advanced corporate strategies.
República Del Cacao also collaborates with the local communities when sourcing their cocoa, as well as other ingredients like milk and sugar cane, to preserve traditional techniques. By doing so, República Del Cacao can take a triple impact approach (social, environmental, and economic care) to chocolate production.
República Del Cacao holds a BCORP certification with a high B Impact Score. To learn more about their strategic vision and how it relates to human rights, read the República Del Cacao United Nations Global Compact report.
We also encourage you to take time to understand the complex and devastating nature of the cocoa industry. Although these resources cover just a tiny portion of the issues, it’s important to start somewhere:
- Child Labor in the Chocolate Industry from Food is Power
- Cocoa’s Child Laborers from the Washington Post
- From Producers to Export Markets: The Case of Cocoa Value Chain in Ghana from JStor
- Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain from World Bank Group
Moving towards traceable ingredients
One major focus of KYF is to keep profits as close to the point of origin as possible. Along with sourcing traceable chocolate through República Del Cacao, Rev plans to begin using traceable coffee, palm oil and MCT oil, and additional flavorings in our products. Cotton for all of Rev’s uniforms is also on the list for traceable ingredients, and we are currently investigating alternative manufacturing locations for the metals in our vaporizers.
Rev also will continue to rely on Global Organics, the distributor of Natíve Sugar, to source organic clean label products. Rev currently uses Global Organics peanut butter chips completely free from additives, preservatives, or artificial flavors. All Global Organics food ingredients are certified to applicable organic standards, and meet strict quality and food safety standards.
Please understand that moving towards traceable ingredients takes time and partnership, up and down the supply chain. Learn more about our continued efforts towards sustainable supply chains and ingredients sourcing:
The Future of Sustainability at Rev
Rev hopes to continue taking (carbonless) steps towards becoming a truly sustainable Massachusetts dispensary, grow facility, wholesale product distributor, and member of all the communities we take part in.
As Rev continues to grow, our commitment to protecting the environment will remain steadfast in all our product and operational decisions. Learn more about who we are and our dedication to sustainability, community, and high-quality cannabis products.