Sustainability in Cannabis: Meet Veritas’ New Environmental Health & Safety Manager
From recycling to reducing CO2 emissions, Elizabeth Lee is helping Veritas lead the way in showcasing what a sustainable cannabis company can achieve.
Keeping our planet healthy is a responsibility we all share and we are already late to take action. With no time to waste, Veritas is proud to be leading the charge on a number of important sustainability initiatives. For us, being all about green doesn’t only mean providing world-class cannabis to consumers—it means being a force for good when it comes to the environment.
As part of this mission, Veritas recently promoted Elizabeth Lee to be our Environmental Health & Safety Manager. Inspired by our ongoing “Veritas Talks” series, Elizabeth is guiding us toward more sustainable, planet-friendly practices in all aspects of our work.
Here, she shares her thoughts on working in the cannabis industry and what it means to lead the charge towards a brighter, more environmentally-minded future, from putting in place a recycling initiative for Veritas’ glass jars, to continuing to shrink the company’s carbon footprint:
Can you tell us more about your background?
I graduated from American University with a degree in environmental studies. I moved to Colorado in 2018. After I obtained my MED badge (aka Colorado cannabis employee license), I began working at dispensaries. I started working at Veritas as Packaging Lead in March 2020 and now I'm just starting in my new role as Environmental Health & Safety Manager.
How did your new role with Veritas come about?
At Veritas, we have sessions where employees gather to talk about the company. Through these “Veritas Talks” conversations, we saw that there was interest in the sustainability aspect of the cannabis industry. We talked about a desire to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) into cannabis, which led to doing a few things around the building and encouraged recycling efforts. Eventually, it reached a point where this focus ultimately flourished into a full position.
Can you tell us more about how "Veritas Talks" works?
“Veritas Talks” are fairly new. They started earlier in 2021 and they consist of everyone getting together to talk every two or three weeks. When we meet, there are one to two members from each department and we go over what's happening at the company—good and bad—as well as where we can improve.
Veritas co-founder Mike Leibowitz came up with the idea in an effort to ensure we are able to maintain company culture as our team expands. We now have 4 facilities in Denver, with over 130 employees spread across them. Getting the team together to talk is one of the ways we work to keep in touch and identify opportunities.
Each meeting brings different people to the table, which ensures that we hear different perspectives from all of our employees. We also have food afterwards and it’s just a great chance to hang out and get to know each other.
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What are the responsibilities of this position?
My role at Veritas is to create and maintain an environmental health and safety program, as well as to stay on top of certain regulations, such as OSHA. I will also be leading the charge with sustainability initiatives, like lowering our energy consumption and updating our packaging to be even more eco-friendly.
What inspired you to take on this new role?
I’ve worked at Veritas for a year now and have experienced things from the inside out. As a result, I’ve seen how our different teams experience everything. I don’t see myself ever leaving Veritas! It’s really nice to be at the forefront of sustainability in cannabis and to be able to help guide the company.
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Are there any specific projects you’re passionate about at the moment?
CO2 consumption is an issue, currently, and I would like to find an alternative. Other than that, I’m listening to everyone to find out what they want to address and I’ll go from there.
What do you hope to achieve through this new position at Veritas?
Our goal is to minimize as much waste as possible! The less trash we put out in the world, the better. Along with that, we want to focus on CO2 recycling through working with our partner, Oskar Blues Brewery. We want to be leaders in the cannabis sustainability space and beyond. We want people to look at what we’re doing and follow our footsteps in order to better our environment.
Check out the Veritas blog to learn more about all things cannabis