CHiPS Scope 1: Enclosed Indoor Grows
The requirements of CHiPS Scope 1 cover enclosed indoor growing systems. Often used in the cannabis industry for security reasons, enclosed systems are known to concentrate toxins that can end up on plant material. The high humidity and temperatures support the growth of molds, mildews and algae that can be difficult to control. Once inside, pests and contaminants are difficult to remove. In a conventional system, many fungicides, insecticides, miticides, or antimicrobials can end up in contaminating produce. Unless managed carefully, these materials can accumulate over time to create a severely toxic environment for not just crops, but workers too.
The CHiPS Scope 1 certification requires that only OMRI listed or NOP inputs be used, along with certified organic seeds when commercially available for a particular varietal. Not all enclosed systems are compatible with non-toxic inputs, so some retrofitting may be required to succeed.
The enclosed hydroponic systems covered in Scope 1 may also use considerably more energy than covered or outdoor farming. Electric lights, whether conventional or LED, generate significant heat. This heat must be removed with air conditioning units. Air is circulated with electric fans, and various pumps, monitors and controls consume power continuously. The Alliance for Sustainable Hydroponics requires that energy usage be measured and reported. This data will be aggregated an anonymized to establish a baseline for energy use in Scope 1 systems. The Alliance will compile and publish practices for energy conservation in Scope 1 systems.
Contact the Alliance to request a copy of the Scope 1 draft standard for review and comment.