The Benefits of Local Sourcing: Intro (1/5)

In 2020, views on the role of businesses within society have fundamentally changed, and...

The Benefits of Local Sourcing: Intro (1/5)

In 2020, views on the role of businesses within society have fundamentally changed, and the conversations around what makes a business successful are shifting. Now more than at any other time in our history, the public is demanding that businesses expand their focus beyond their bottom lines to become positive stewards for their local communities, the environment, and their employees. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will publish a series of blog posts exploring the importance of these issues and highlight ways in which we believe Sana Packaging is striving to be a positive example.

We are passionate about using our business model to not only reduce waste in the cannabis industry, but also to help drive a larger conversation about the way businesses operate in relation to the community and the environment. Sana is a pioneering company in the cannabis industry manufacturing packaging products using 100% plant-based hemp plastic, 100% reclaimed ocean plastic, and other sustainable materials. We believe our emphasis on sustainable business practices such as regional sourcing and manufacturing is an important component of our larger mission, which is to help usher in a new, circular economic model. The goal is to create a harmonious network within each local community in which businesses source, manufacture, and distribute their products within those same communities that they operate and live. This will help regenerate local communities economically, environmentally, and socially in a way that we believe is more sustainable for the future of our planet than the traditional economic model.

The concept of localization is a crucial component of achieving the circular economic model that we envision. Our current linear “take-make-dispose” economic model has highlighted the many inefficiencies within our recycling systems in addition to acting as an overall drain on many of our planet’s most important ecosystems, natural resources, and negatively impacting local communities. From what we have seen, people are much more open to environmentally sustainable practices if they believe they are protecting the local communities in which they live. The more we emphasize how sustainability and a circular economic model positively impact local communities, the more tangible and “real” these issues become. It is much harder for someone to brush things aside when they hit close to home, and it is no longer an “out of sight, out of mind” concept for someone else to deal with.

In 2020, we have incredible technological capabilities at our disposal as a society. We are now able to do incredible things with this technology in manufacturing, such as using rapidly renewable and regenerative resources like hemp to make packaging materials. We would love to see these technological advances become further tied to the concept of localization and the circular economic model. As our capabilities continue to evolve in increasingly innovative ways, we are envisioning the impact we can have in the future if there is more of an emphasis on utilizing these technological advances for the benefit of revitalizing our local communities.

In addition to the important community-building aspects of a circular economic model, moving towards sustainable operating procedures such as local sourcing and regionalized manufacturing and distribution can have a major impact on the environment. In an increasingly globalized economy, supply chains currently account for the highest percentage of many businesses' greenhouse gas emissions. Localization not only keeps resources within the local community, but it also helps businesses to lower their overall carbon footprint. Because of the emphasis on keeping things local, this is no longer an abstract concept of trying to “make a difference” and many of these environmental benefits will have a major impact within the communities that we call home.

Other tangible benefits of localization include the ability for a business to have greater control over their suppliers to implement sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, helping to facilitate a more circular economic model while stimulating the local economy, creating greater resilience to shocks in the system, enhancing communication within the supply chain, and lowering costs associated with transportation and logistics. We will explore some of these business advantages with individual posts in the future. 

We truly believe that transitioning to a business model with an emphasis on sustainability and localization is one of the most effective ways that we can move forward during the current pandemic and be prepared for whatever comes next. We also know that this is a process that won’t necessarily occur overnight. Circularity is the ultimate goal, but there are many obstacles that come in all different shapes and sizes that we will continue to have to overcome as a company and a community in order to implement it on a large scale. At Sana, for example, our supply chains are predominantly regional, and our manufacturing is fully regional. We are striving towards circularity by implementing principles of localization into our operations and utilizing sustainable materials as much as possible, but we want to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go as well. We hope that by sharing our experiences and highlighting some of the reasons why we think circularity is so important, we can help start a larger conversation and take steps to initiate wider change. We hope that you will find this series of posts educational and that they help illustrate why we believe so strongly in the impact of a sustainable business model and how these concepts tie into our ultimate vision of a circular economic model.

Written by: Galen Kuney, Sana Packaging Intern