Local, energy-efficient and water-smart farming

Vertical farming reduces the need for land, water and energy and provides a better way to monitor nutrients and crop quality. Vertical farm greenhouses offer optimised growing conditions. Novarbo’s concept has turned into a notable export project that combines expertise, technology and innovative farming platforms.

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Problem

Land prices are constantly rising in all major urban centres around the globe. Feeding the world’s growing populations is becoming increasingly hard, as drought and a lack of clean water threaten many regions. As a result, green produce such as salad plants, herbs and sprouts have to be transported over increasingly long distances. Traditional greenhouse growing methods consume a lot of energy and water.

Solution: local, energy-efficient and water-smart farming

Novarbo, a subsidiary of Biolan Oy, has developed an energy-efficient climate and humidity control system for greenhouses based on cold water circuits. The system helps to keep LED lights cool by capturing and reusing their heat energy. The computerised solution is particularly efficient in vertical farming applications. The system significantly reduces the carbon dioxide emissions of greenhouses and the need for chemical pesticides and herbicides.

Revenue logic and benefits to Novarbo

Novarbo sells multi-storey vertical farming solutions on a turnkey basis. The company wanted to develop a smart growing solution that is fully in line with the core mission of Biolan Group: creating a greener world. Since the Finnish market is comparatively small, the company has set its sights on the global market.

Benefits to customers and end users

Vertical farming is an investment. Its profitability depends on the demand and price levels of vegetables, energy prices, a reliable energy supply and the availability and cost of production facilities. The solution helps farmers reduce their energy costs and significantly improve their crop yields. The yield per unit of land can be many times higher compared to conventional farming. The produce is also higher in nutrients and grown with clean methods.

Facts

Novarbo in a nutshell

Main business: farming platforms, greenhouse technology and vertical farming solutions

Established: 2010

Net sales: €1-50 million

Launch of circular economy solution: the first component of the vertical farming solution was launched in 2008

Employees: 10-250

Headquarters: Eura

Website: http://www.novarbo.fi/english/

Project

The most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland

The most interesting companies in the circular economy is a list compiled by Sitra to showcase Finland’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. Sitra is using the list as a way to challenge Finnish companies to meet the changing needs of the world.

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