AppHarvest Reinforces Mission to Redefine Agriculture with 2020 Sustainability Report Highlighting the Company’s Social Impact, Positive Environmental Change and Job Creation in Appalachia
APRIL 21, 2021 — MOREHEAD, KY — AgTech leader, AppHarvest (NASDAQ: APPH, APPHW), today published its 2020 Sustainability Report, “Feed the Future.” The report outlines the Certified B Corp and public benefit corporation’s efforts to create positive environmental change in agriculture, empower employees and improve the communities in which it operates.
“Resiliency is at the core of our beliefs at AppHarvest because farming as we’ve known it is broken and not sustainable for the planet,” said Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest Founder & CEO. “We’re solving for the variables that make our food system unreliable, such as extreme weather, droughts, fire or contamination. Our team built one of the world’s largest facilities in the midst of a global pandemic — not a greenhouse covering a few acres — but a controlled environment high-tech farm the size of 50 football fields that can produce about 45 million pounds of tomatoes annually. And we plan for 11 more facilities by the end of 2025.”
“In AppHarvest’s first sustainability report since becoming a publicly traded public benefit corporation–one of only a handful both traded on an exchange and B Corp certified–we explain how the company has been addressing some of the most pressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in agriculture, such as water and land shortages, soil depletion, pesticide use and the massive issue of food security,” said AppHarvest Chief Sustainability Officer Jackie Roberts.
This Earth Day, AppHarvest details progress toward three distinct impact goals as it works to establish a reliable, climate-resilient, domestic food supply:
Drive positive environmental change in agriculture: AppHarvest’s first high-tech indoor farm grows more with fewer resources and contributes to a climate-resilient, domestic food supply. Growing food in an indoor environment is highly resilient to a changing climate and can provide a buffer against extreme weather events, such as flooding, heat waves, droughts and freezing temperatures. With its strategic location in Central Appalachia, AppHarvest can reach 70% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive. The location reduces diesel used for transportation as much as 80% compared to produce trucked from Mexico or the Southwest of the U.S. AppHarvest’s operations are also designed to use 90% less water than open-field agriculture with 100% recycled rainwater, zero chemical pesticides and zero agricultural runoff.
Empower individuals in Appalachia: To AppHarvest, ‘empowering individuals’ means creating a life-changing experience for employees and their families. As of March 31, 2021, AppHarvest has created 500 jobs with 100% of employees verified to be paid a living wage plus a comprehensive benefits package that is considered best-in-class in the agriculture sector. AppHarvest makes each employee a stakeholder in the company’s success by providing equity-based incentives.
Improve the communities in which it operates: AppHarvest’s plans call for more than tripling its investment in Appalachia to reach almost $1 billion in capital invested by 2025. The company also works with Eastern Kentucky high schools to incorporate AgTech curriculum and provide high-tech container farms that offer students a hands-on opportunity to grow their own food and learn about nutrition. AppHarvest has brought together more than a dozen organizations, including the governments of the Netherlands and Kentucky, to commit to the creation of America’s AgTech capital in Appalachia.
“Consumers are more educated than ever, and they use that knowledge to support organizations, like AppHarvest, that have the best interests of all stakeholders in mind by putting people and planet first,” said David Lee, AppHarvest president. “As a public benefit corporation and a certified B Corp, ESG issues are core to our mission and we expect that focus to be a competitive advantage that propels us as we establish a new standard for sustainable food and agriculture.”
The sustainability report also includes a snapshot of AppHarvest preliminary ESG key performance indicators for the company’s launch period of November 2020 through January 2021, during which it planted the first 30 acres of its Morehead facility. Highlights, that illustrate the AppHarvest’s substantial environmental and social impact, include:
- 100% recycled rainwater in indoor farm operations
- 100% of product free of chemical pesticide residue
- 100% non-GMO produce
- 100% of employees paid living wage, verified by Business for Social Responsibility
- 100% covered cost for health insurance premiums
The complete digital report can be downloaded here.
AppHarvest is an applied technology company building some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms in Appalachia that grow non-GMO, chemical pesticide-free produce using 90 percent less water than open-field agriculture and only recycled rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture on the same amount of land with zero agricultural runoff. The Company combines conventional agricultural techniques with cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence and robotics to improve access for all to nutritious food, farming more sustainably, building a domestic food supply, and increasing investment in Appalachia. The Company’s 60-acre Morehead, Ky. facility is among the largest indoor farms in the U.S. For more information, visit https://www.appharvest.com/.
Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. All statements, other than statements of present or historical fact included in this press release, regarding AppHarvest’s future financial performance, as well as AppHarvest’s growth plans and strategy, ability to capitalize on commercial opportunities, future operations, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of AppHarvest’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of AppHarvest. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (No. 333-252964) filed with the SEC by AppHarvest on February 10, 2021 under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents AppHarvest has filed, or that AppHarvest will file, with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect AppHarvest’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. AppHarvest anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while AppHarvest may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, AppHarvest specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing AppHarvest’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.