Here’s another example of urban sustainability in action in Vancouver. This 6000 sq foot rooftop garden, aptly named Local Garden got off the ground last year. It’s a ‘vertical farm’, with stacks of growing trays that produce lettuce, arugula, baby kale, basil and its’ signature very tasty Rooftop Blend.
We’re all wild for locally grown salad greens, and Local Garden cultivated this niche business opportunity. With the help of the city, the company reached an agreement to use an unused rooftop parking lot in downtown Vancouver for their greenhouse , which uses vastly reduced water compared to conventional agriculture and no pesticides. Another bonus is minimal transportation impacts to get the product to market in local stores. The company grows up to 3,500 pounds of greens every week here all year long. Here’s a photo of one of the founders on site.
Donovan Woollard, Alterrus Systems Inc, in Local Garden’s rooftop greenhouse.
The company is also unique as one of Canada’s first crop of B Corps. A B Corps offers benefits to society that go beyond the traditional prime corporate duty: return profits to shareholders. To be able to use the title ‘B Corps ‘ a company must spell out its societal commitments directly in its’ articles of incorporation, and be independently certified according to strict standards related to governance, people, community and environment. A B Corps is the voluntary version of a state certified benefit corporation, a new type of corporation legally mandated to create benefits for society, a sort of ‘for profit charity’, a concept which is catching on in the US.
Local Garden is one of only 50 Certified B Corp companies in Canada. See its company profile here.
Growing salad, growing jobs, putting a deserted parking lot to a new and nurturing use- that’s rooftop power.