Cannabis Sustainability Awards 


The Cannabis Sustainability Awards are a unique opportunity for cannabis businesses to be nationally recognized for their work to improve sustainability in their operations and communities. The awards cover five areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste, pest management, and community engagement. Any cannabis business that is operated in accordance with state and local marijuana regulations in North America may apply.

All nominees will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the Cannabis Sustainability Symposium on October 4th, 2019 in Denver.

Applications will be judged blindly by a committee comprised of cannabis and sustainability experts. Applications will be scored in the following areas:

  • Level of impact the project has on the environment and/or community
  • Innovation – how unique is the project?
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative evidence of the project’s results

Evidence of results is extremely important to the success of an application. Ideally, applicants should describe the results of the project and submit supporting attachments. For example, a project which results in waste reduction could be supported by copies of waste-hauling bills that detail the amounts hauled before and after implementation. Photos are also encouraged.

Many projects may fall under multiple categories; for example, many water efficiency projects also have energy benefits. Please apply in the one category where the project has the most impact. Co-benefits should be described in the narrative and supporting evidence. 

Deadline to apply is August 1, 2019. 

CSS Awards Application

  • Energy consumption is the largest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from the cannabis industry. Projects in this category reduce an operator’s total energy consumption, peak demand, and/or energy use per pound of product produced. Examples of energy efficiency projects include lighting and HVAC upgrades. Renewable energy projects may also be submitted under this category.
  • Fresh water is a precious and finite natural resource that is vital to the cannabis industry. Water conservation projects may include technological or behavior change innovations that increase water efficiency or reduce wastewater pollution.
  • Solid and hazardous wastes have significant real and potential negative impacts on the environment, workers, and communities. Waste projects may include those that divert waste from landfills, reduce total waste, reduce or eliminate hazardous waste, or create opportunities to recycle or reuse formerly waste products.
  • Pests are an ever-present threat to cannabis crops, but many pest management products and techniques create hazards for workers and can contaminate consumer products. Innovative pest management projects include those that prevent or treat fungal, microbial or insect intrusions while reducing the use of hazardous chemicals.
  • All businesses impact the communities in which they operate. Cannabis businesses have a unique opportunity to create positive impacts for people who were disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. Examples of community engagement projects include those that provide education, employment, healthy food, affordable housing, etc. While financial contributions to charities may be a component of community engagement, donations alone are not considered a project for the purposes of this award.
  • Developers of cannabis businesses make hundreds of design choices that impact the sustainability of their operation. Smart design projects create multiple benefits, including energy efficiency, water conservation, improved air quality, improved worker safety, increased yields and more.