1. No Poverty – An ambitious goal, and by no stretch can Hemp fully solve this problem, but it can definitely affect it. First, Industrial Hemp can provide low-cost, sustainable protein through its hemp hearts, which carry a plethora of nutrients – they contain 33% protein, ~40% healthy fats which are rich in Omega 3’s and 6’s. On a smaller, scale those nations with proximity to nations with high purchase power could see an advantage from cultivating their own hemp, such as Mexico.
2. Zero Hunger – This ties in with the first point, through the hemp hearts, and indirect income increase through work and cultivation of the plant.
3. Good Health and Well-Being – Hemp can impact this area greatly! The health effects from climate change include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health. Through Hemp’s impressive ability for carbon sequestration, as well as providing alternatives to harvest slower renewables, its potential is incredible.
4. Quality Education – According to the GlobalCitizen, two of the top five reasons that hold back children in impoverished countries from receiving proper education can easily be addressed via hemp. First, not having a classroom – Hempcrete can provide sustainable solutions for building materials, and can be grown locally to cut down logistics cost of acquiring the necessary hemp.
5. Gender Equality – Statistics show, compared to men, women and girls are still more severely affected by poverty, hunger, and disease. When food is scarce, women generally get the smallest portions, limiting their nutritional intake and ability to compete for the same societal roles as men which require physical exertion. Starting with agriculture is a great opportunity for women to control their own food supply, as well as generate income for themselves. This is obviously still limited by sexism and other cultural blockades, but it is low-barrier to entry role that women could fill to compete with their male counterparts.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Hemp can directly impact this mandate. Primarily, through its use as a bio-composite alternative to plastics, by utilizing hemp, we can significantly decrease the amount of plastic in our oceans. Furthermore, hemp consumes significantly less water than many of its counterparts such as cotton & trees.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy – Hemp can also directly impact this mandate. From its seed, oil can be produced to be used as a biodiesel. Through the full stalk, methanol can be produced as an a sustainable green fuel.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth – Again, through the increased utilization of the Hemp crop, we can see more jobs available in all portions of the value chain. More than this, hemp can be used to increase soil health, resulting in a wider array of crops to be utilized in a rotation.
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure – Whether it is the carbon fiber alternatives, paper alternatives, diesel alternatives, plastic alternatives or concrete alternatives, there is incredible room to impact this goal.
10. Reduced Inequalities – This goes back to point 5, not only will it help fight gender inequality, but economic inequality. Hemp can provide low-cost food options that are available to all, low-cost textile options for all, and sustainable and cheap costs for biodiesel among others. This gives access to nutrition to compete for more opportunities which require physical exertion, clothing that can be created sustainable and for low-cost, and finally oil that can be used to transport those with limited access to fuel.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities – Obviously this is something that Hemp can greatly impact, starting with its use to construct buildings via hempcrete. Its use as a sustainable alternative to the many industrial practices that contribute to carbon emissions is evident in the graphic above.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production – Again, this is tied in with the previous points. Lets take a look at a specific example, that being the ability to create a closed loop system in textiles. If combined with cotton, the hemp can decompose, leaving viable cotton for recycling and put back into the production chain. Moving on from textiles, hemp paper can be used as a great alternative to wood pulp paper with several capabilities more impressive than wood pulp. Hemp paper can be recycled up to eight (8) times, vs wood pulp paper has the ability to be recycled three (3) times. Hemp paper also doesn’t yellow or brown like wood pulp paper.
13. Climate Action – At this point, we are doing our best to not repeat ourselves but this is echoed in every point brought up thus far. Let’s take a look at paper, hemp can be grown for paper, with its production capacity 200% greater than wood pulp for the same dedicated acreage, and in incredibly faster time frames. Other than this, it requires low water consumption and can be grown organically with no pesticides, although contrary to popular belief there are a number of pests common to hemp.
14. Life Below Water – Circling back to point 6, the biggest contribution hemp can have on this goal is through its impact on reducing plastic use. Once companies like Maersk introduce their net zero ships, it can have an impact as a source for methanol to lower direct pollution from freighters.
15. Life on Land – Aside from all the reasons listed before, the two that are most striking is the carbon sequestration of hemp, as well as the preservation of forests through utilization of hemp in paper production.
16. Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions – A strong and healthy society reverberates into their societal structures. By ensuring people are fed, the land and seas are clean, and people have equal opportunity to pursue economic avenues, this allows for increased peace, which gives a clear mind when thinking about justice. Hemp can have a indirect impact on this in commercial use.
17. Partnership for the Goals – As more nations legalize Industrial Hemp, as the stigma around the crop are worn away, increased trade will occur. The trade will stimulate all 16 prior goals and creation of opportunities to utilize different applications of the crop.