Colombian-Canadian cannabis firm Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV: KHRN) (OTCQX: KHRNF) (Frankfurt: A2JMZC), active in Latin America and Europe, this morning announced the release of its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report for the calendar year 2020.
Khiron’s report outlines actions and initiatives undertaken in 2020 to strengthen ESG practices throughout the company’s operations and supply chain, along with Khiron’s goals for 2021 and 2022. Khiron says the report adheres to global reporting initiative (GRI) standards and reflects the alignment of Khiron’s goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A full copy of the report is available here.
“At Khiron, sustainability is embedded in our DNA, with the common belief that strong ESG policies improve performance, loyalty, and innovation, while reducing corporate risks and capital costs. Our inaugural ESG report demonstrates our dedication to strong environmental, social and governance principles as we deliver on our mission of improving lives through cannabis. I am proud of how our team rose to the challenges of 2020, achieving incredible milestones in an unprecedented year,” said CEO and co-founder Alvaro Torres.
“Increasingly, institutional investors are using ESG principles to guide investment decisions, and as one of the first global cannabis companies to publish an ESG report, we have achieved another corporate milestone that distinguishes us as an industry leader and market disruptor. We have set ambitious ESG goals for the next two years and I am confident our team will deliver on these objectives,” added Torres.
2020 ESG Highlights
- Conducted initial identification and assessment of material environmental, social, economic and governance issues, resulting in the identification and prioritization of 10 overarching goals in alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- Identified eight key stakeholder groups impacted or influenced by Khiron, including shareholders, employees, patients, clients, local communities, the environment, suppliers, and government.
- Commissioned solar park to reduce energy consumption at production facility by up to 40%, while implementing initiatives to measure and reduce consumption of resources, including energy, water, and materials.
- Supported local communities during COVID-19 crisis by donating COVID-19 PCR testing equipment to the Santa Clara Hospital in Bogota; in addition, provided nutritional kits to vulnerable families, essential medical supplies to local hospitals, and COVID-19 training and support to community health care practitioner.
- Secured 88% of production supplies from local suppliers and employed 74% residents at Khiron’s production facility.
- Had a positive impact on local communities, with 61% of surveyed residents indicating that Khiron has had positive impact on the community.
- Achieved wage parity between men and women in Khiron’s workforce, while fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Promoted culture of compliance and robust corporate security; improved voluntary incident reporting by over 135x, conducted over 35 employee training sessions related to Khiron’s ESG goals, and had no regulatory infractions.
- Leveraged a culture of innovation and adaptability, pivoting quickly in response to the COVID-19 crisis, rapidly developing telemedicine channels, managing supply chain to ensure patients received medications and reprioritizing capital.
In 2020, global sustainable funds attracted more than $150 billion in fund flows with COVID-19 serving as a catalyst for sustainability investing (Source: Morningstar). Additionally, according to RBC Global Asset Managements’ Responsible Investment Survey 2019, 70% of institutional investors surveyed use ESG principles when they invest. The top 3 reasons to apply ESG principles when investing were cited as (1) lower risks, (2) improved returns, and (3) acting in clients’ interests.