Global business and environmental leaders join with Resource Innovation Institute to chart a resilient future for agriculture

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 12, 2021)—Resource Innovation Institute (RII) has assembled a council of global business and environmental leaders to advise the non-profit on its efforts to serve the needs of agricultural producers facing climate risk and technology adoption. The new Strategic Advisory Council–composed of senior leaders from business, investment, government and philanthropic communities–will shape RII’s strategic plan, which will be announced this fall.

“Agriculture is changing. Many producers are shifting toward various forms of ‘indoor’ cultivation, which is driving a need to holistically quantify resource impacts and support farmers of all kinds,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. “Governments, utilities, investors and producers need data-driven solutions to identify the most efficient, productive and profitable cultivation approaches. Our role as a trusted non-profit organization with five years of expertise on these issues is to lead the measurement, adoption and celebration of the most efficient agricultural ideas. We are appreciative of the commitment of our Strategic Advisory Council to help guide our planning.”

RII recently began work on a three-year USDA Conservation Innovation Grant designed to advance a data-driven market transformation strategy that targets greater resource efficiency in emerging ‘controlled environment’ horticultural sectors, including greenhouses and vertical farms growing a range of crops, from microgreens to tomatoes to berries. RII is developing the strategy in partnership with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Since its founding as a non-profit organization in 2016, RII has established:

  • The world’s largest privacy-secured data framework containing standardized and comparable cultivation facility environmental performance data 
  • A multi-sector funding model, including governments, foundations, utilities and industry leaders
  • A subject matter expert network, which provides peer-reviewed technical guidance on resource-efficient cultivation practices

Now, with global partnerships under development, RII is poised to be a leader in the development of international standards to guide decision-makers toward a resilient agricultural future. 

The Strategic Advisory Council is providing input on key strategic issues including:

  • Serving producers – Fine-tuning a model to support producers with data- and privacy-secure resource benchmarking services to accelerate efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • Aligning funding – Leveraging global public, private and philanthropic dollars to magnify returns on impact investments ranging from climate resilience to advancement of racial and social equity
  • Engaging the value chain – Establishing transparent market mechanisms to provide credible asset valuation, leadership recognition and consumer education

The organizations represented by RII’s Strategic Advisory Council members include: 

  • Budding Solutions
  • Equilibrium Capital
  • Farmers Conservation Alliance
  • Fifth Season
  • Fluence by OSRAM
  • Ford Foundation
  • LegacyWorks Group
  • Lomo Plateado
  • Greenwich Biosciences
  • Grodan
  • HortAmericas
  • MAPS
  • McGill University
  • Poseidon Partners
  • Schneider Electric
  • The Sustainable Finance Company
  • Tress Capital
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • World Wildlife Fund

For a complete roster, see www.ResourceInnovation.org/AdvisoryCouncil

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Emily Meshell at 318-564-8195 or emily@themaverickpr.com

About Resource Innovation Institute: Resilient harvests for the next hundred years.

Resource Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization committed to cultivating a better future for all of humanity. Our consortium of members brings perspectives from across the field—uniting architects and engineers, growers and operators, researchers and analysts. Together, we lead the measurement, adoption and celebration of the world’s most efficient agricultural ideas. Founded in 2016 to advise governments, utilities and industry leaders on the resource impacts of cannabis cultivation, an under-studied and resource-intensive market, we have since extended our research to other sectors in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture. To take on the challenges of our changing world, we believe that food, medicine and other vital crops demand data-driven insights, shared with integrity. By nurturing the human connections in our complex and dynamic industry, we can build radically restorative systems for people and planet. Visit our website at ResourceInnovation.org. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.