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Eco-Solution icon Eco-Solution: Sundrop Farms

Solving Resource Challenges

Key Environmental Performance Area:

  • Resource Management (Operations)

Challenge

The agricultural sector can consume significant amounts of resources, including water and energy. In particular, the agricultural sector consumes about 69 percent of the planet's fresh water.i Recent estimates show that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and fisheries have nearly doubled over the past 50 years and could increase an additional 30 percent by 2050.ii

Sundrop Farms (Sundrop) is a specialized developer and operator of protected cropping installations designed for regions that have traditionally been unsuitable for agriculture. Headquartered in Adelaide, Australia, and London, England, Sundrop’s inaugural farm is located in Port Augusta, Australia.

Response

In Australia, the system developed by Sundrop uses solar energy to cool, heat, and power a high-tech farm, and also to desalinate seawater for irrigation. The company has proprietary technology and knowledge to develop and operate facilities globally in areas that traditionally do not grow crops, often due to little or no access to arable land, fresh water sources, or grid energy. In 2016, Sundrop Farms completed the construction of its 20-hectare facility. The glasshouses were seeded with tomatoes in April 2016, with the first harvest expected in the third quarter of 2016.

More information about Sundrop Farms’ approach to the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population can be found on the company’s website.


i “Sustainable Agriculture.” World Wildlife Fund. n.d. Web. 10 December 2015. http://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/sustainable-agriculture

ii “Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions on the rise,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 11 April 2014. Web. 10 December 2015. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/216137/icode

Unless otherwise noted, portfolio company data represents 2015 results, published in August 2016. These case studies may contain forward looking statements including descriptions of planned projects and projected results and savings. These statements are subject to the risk that the projects will not develop as planned or at all or that projected results and savings are not realized.