Indoor soilless farming aims to reduce many of the more harmful effects of conventional field farming, including decreasing pressures on land, biodiversity, natural habitat, and climate. However, these indoor farms often have large energy footprints, are still figuring out the best way to support local communities and need support to share experiences and move the industry forward.
In the Phase I Innovation Analysis, WWF looked at how we might address some of these challenges and help bring these systems to scale.
In Phase II, WWF has used that research as a springboard for action. This report describes Phase II activities, including:
- forming the St. Louis Controlled Environment Agriculture (STLCEA) Coalition;
- analyzing innovative energy systems utilizing various stranded assets;
- exploring potential partnerships;
- soliciting and evaluating proposals from indoor farms interested in building and running a pilot indoor farm;
- choosing an indoor farm partner to bring an integrated system to the St. Louis region;
- exploring the feasibility of a Center of Excellence (CoE) on indoor farming in the St. Louis region; and
- kicking off the CoE’s initial projects and developing a long-term vision.