Carbon-Negative Materials: A Repeatable Solution for Large Manufacturers
The top leaders in manufacturing all rely on the same raw materials. Most of the supply chains that provide these raw materials have been established for decades. The problem is, many manufacturers want to change from the toxic raw materials that they currently have to sustainable materials, they just don’t have a reliable supply chain to lean on.
Most of the raw materials that are used in manufacturing today are mined and synthetic goods. The few companies that have worked to use sustainable materials are cutting down trees and using those trees as fillers in the composites that go into their end products. Fortunately for our planet, there isn’t a huge demand for cut-down trees; otherwise, we would be in trouble. No matter how manufacturers green-wash, they are stuck using unsustainable supply chains of toxic materials. Eventually, they will have to change; it’s only a matter of when.
These mineral and synthetic materials stand in direct contrast to agricultural goods. Besides the fact that the supply chains have been established over decades, the reason why these toxic materials have been used is because of product consistency. Every pound of mined and synthetic material falls into a specific quality category. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated to do that with agricultural goods. If you need an example, go look at the apples in your local supermarket. No two apples are the same.
This is why our supply chain focuses on product consistency, or what we’re referring to as bio continuity. Creating consistency in the size, surface area, and moisture content is what will allow agricultural goods to compete with the toxic materials that manufacturers are using every day. Since hemp is a carbon-negative material, there is a huge advantage for manufacturers to transition over to this new material as long as they can ensure product consistency. Every manufacturer is trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and hemp is the best raw material supply chain that manufacturers can rely upon to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also the weight and cost of their products.
As large manufacturers dive deep into R&D, they are finding that the best way to test new materials is laser-focused product development. It’s difficult to switch over a whole raw material supply chain without a specific use case. We hop on the phone with manufacturers every day to talk about how hemp can positively impact their business. But, for us, the best place to start that conversation is with product development.
Focusing on a specific use case helps us dial in on what plastic we’re mixing with, and what additive we’re reducing or removing. As we lock in a use case, we work with manufacturers’ plastic compounders and resin suppliers to get them sample materials. Once the sample materials are in the hands of the plastic compounders, the hemp can be added to the plastic and extruded in the form of sheets, tubes, or pellets. These hemp-filled plastics can then be sent to manufacturers across all industries for testing purposes and product development..
Getting hemp materials into the hands of plastic compounders, and hemp-filled plastics into the hands of manufacturers is pretty straightforward. The only problem is that every manufacturer is looking for different specifications.
- Particle size.
- Surface area.
- Moisture content.
- Aspect ratios.
- The ratio of hemp fibers to hemp hurds.
- Percentage of hemp in the plastic.
- Other additives increase hemp’s capabilities.
These are all different variables that have an effect on the performance capabilities of the hemp-filled plastic that will be sourced by manufacturers from plastic compounders. For this reason, manufacturers will have to rely on industrial hemp material suppliers that can customize the materials to meet the demands of the specific use case.
Most industrial hemp companies are focused on doing a couple of hundred, or a couple of thousand pounds per day. This is great for sample materials but leaves hemp sitting in R&D labs at large manufacturers and colleges. Without a reliable supply chain, these large institutions are left wasting their time, money, and energy on input formats of hemp that they can’t source millions of pounds per year of.
This is the problem our team has set out to solve. We’re not only building America’s first reliable industrial hemp supply chain, we’re customizing the input format for manufacturers that are committed to sustainable materials and product lines.
Our ability to create a supply chain of carbon-negative materials will change the face of manufacturing forever. No longer will companies be forced to use mined and synthetic materials. They can work with Heartland to increase the percentage of hemp in their products and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the products they’re creating.
We’re at an inflection point in American manufacturing. Over the next few years, there will be a clear separation between the leaders and the followers. We’re seeing the leaders across manufacturing lean into sustainable materials and the benefits they provide. These leaders see the trend lines of demand and buying power moving toward sustainable brands. They know that if they start doing product development with sustainable raw materials today, they will be miles ahead of the competition a few years from now.
We’re fortunate to be working alongside some of the largest manufacturers and plastics companies on the planet as we build our industrial hemp supply chain. They have given us amazing feedback that will allow us to create the foundation of the raw materials that manufacturers will use for years to come.
The future is bright for industrial hemp’s ability to embed itself into the products we use every day. This is due to our ability to customize the format of the material and create a reliable supply chain for it.
Join us on the journey as we build a world out of hemp.