World Cannabis Congress Prioritizes Cannabis Industry Sustainability

Civilized mg magazine
Civilized mg magazine

Saint John, NB – Waste-reduction initiatives and carbon off-setting have been major factors in the strategic planning of the upcoming World Cannabis Congress (WCC). The global conference, presented by Civilized, has corporate social responsibility practices reflected throughout the event.

“A strong approach to social responsibility is a priority for Civilized and the World Cannabis Congress team,” says Derek Riedle, CEO and Publisher of Civilized and Co-Chair of the World Cannabis Congress. “Instead of speaker gifts, for example, we’re planting 1,000 trees to offset our carbon footprint. Business goals and environmental sustainability must go hand in hand.”


Wherever possible, digital applications are replacing paper materials. Instead of a printed agenda, an informational mobile app, WCC 2018, was created for delegates to download and use for the duration of the conference. The app, sponsored by ONB, includes the full conference agenda (including detailed session information), links to the speaker biographies and sponsors, interactive maps, a notes section, a private messaging function, direct access to the webpages of WCC Co-Chairs Civilized and Opportunities New Brunswick, a Twitter feed, and push notifications for updates and reminders.

“The WCC 2018 app is a green and innovative way for delegates and stakeholders to access information,” says Stephen Lund, CEO of ONB and Co-Chair of the World Cannabis Congress. “It’s a one- stop-shop that encourages connection and collaboration – that’s what we do at ONB.”

Traditional cloth delegate bags filled with sponsored paper products and swag have also been eliminated. Instead, delegates will receive a password to download a “digital delegate bag,” providing them access to sponsored e-coupons, podcasts, videos and digital copies of research reports and whitepapers. Chartered shuttles, with seating up to 55 people, to and from the Saint John Airport are being used instead of individual taxi cabs to reduce carbon emissions. A condensed, printed agenda will be included inside delegate lanyards with provisions for recycling the paper products provided at the conclusion of the Congress.

No table number or signage cards are being printed for the approximately 60 tables in use during the Congress, and any signage that is printed will be double-sided to reduce paper waste. Sixty living centerpieces, a small garden composed of tropical plants, are being donated to the Loch Lomond Villa long term care community and various other community groups around the city immediately following the WCC. The Congress has also instituted a ban on unnecessary plastic; metal cutlery will be used, along with biodegradable paper straws and bamboo stir sticks. Pitchers of water and glasses are replacing plastic bottled water whenever possible.

Civilized is using non-profit group One Tree Planted to plant 1,000 trees in California, U.S., where forests have recently been devastated by fire and mud slides. The state has been at the forefront of cannabis legalization, is a progressive cannabis jurisdiction and is home to Civilized’s Venice office. One Tree Planted will be planting a variety of native tree species including sugar pine, California redwood, maple, elderberry, willow, birch, dogwood, cedar, giant sequoia and walnut.

The WCC will also feature a panel discussion on social responsibility in the cannabis industry, which will be followed by an announcement made by the Global Cannabis Partnership (GCP). The GCP is creating an international standard for the safe and responsible production, distribution and consumption of legal recreational cannabis. Civilized is proud to be Lifestyle and Entertainment Media Partner with the GCP.

As legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis becomes a reality in more places around the world, Civilized has produced a series of entertaining and informational videos entitled “Cannabis for Beginners” to inform the public about responsible cannabis consumption.