From the outset, our founding team envisioned an environmentally sustainable mushroom farm.

Not just any farm – but one certified Organic and adhering to GMP-grade standards. No small feat for a startup!

Achieving Net Zero has also been a priority for Myzel. From choosing our heating/cool method to selecting our materials – our team chooses the most sustainable options possible.

According to the preliminary LCA, it was those early choices that allowed us to achieve a low carbon footprint.

What is a Lifecycle Assessment?

Our sustainability consultants describe a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a framework to evaluate the environmental impact associated with the life cycle of a product, process, or service. 

Companies like Myzel use an LCA as an internal document that provides pivotal cues to improve sustainability and environmental footprint. These cues are used to select materials and suppliers, or to adapt our processes to make them more sustainable.

Leaves through an entire lifecycle

Results of the Preliminary LCA

Since an LCA contains a lot of proprietary information, most companies share a distilled report called an environmental product declaration (EPD) with their stakeholders and the general public.

An EPD is a third party verified declaration that communicates the footprint of a business without compromising trade secrets.

While Myzel awaits the results of our EPD, we decided to produce a blog sharing details about our sustainability hotspots and successes. 

Myzel’s Sustainability Hotspots

The Preliminary LCA identified key areas of our production life cycle that have the most environmental impact. 

We’re referencing these hotspots to take action and make our systems more sustainable.

Mushroom Cultivation and Processing

Materials & Transport:
The sorghum used as substrate in the facility makes up the most significant segment of Myzel’s environmental footprint. Both the cultivation of the sorghum and the transportation from the cultivator to the facility play into this outcome. While sorghum is one of the most
environmentally sustainable grains, the LCA considers the steps a farmer must take to produce a crop (including the fuels required, keeping the crop healthy, etc). The environmental cost of shipping the sorghum to Myzel’s facility is based on the use of fossil fuels. 

Climate Change contribution chart

Packaging:
Myzel’s mushroom powders are packed in boxes, drums or totes after production. These shipping materials contribute (albeit minimally) to Myzel’s total environmental impact.

Autoclaves consume energy and contribute to water evaporation.

Autoclaves: For high-heat cooking
and grain
sterilization

Processing:
After high-heat cooking and sterilization, the sorghum becomes the substrate for mushroom cultivation. The boiler plays a key role in this process: it provides steam for the autoclaves. At 30% pressure/usage, t
he total greenhouse gas emissions produced by running the autoclaves to produce one kilogram of mushroom powder is 0,532 kg CO2-eq. Water is another integral component involved in the production process. Myzel relies on water from an onsite rainwater collection pond to prepare the sorghum for cultivation. Approximately 94% of the initial water content evaporates from the mixture during the cooking and sterilization process. Our collection ponds ensure we are never drawing from a ground source well or from a municipal water source. 

Facility energy:
The facility draws fractional power from the energy grid. The geothermal heating/cooling system and solar electric production provides the vast majority of the energy to the site. Natural gas powers the autoclaves and dryers; this equipment constitutes the consumption of grid-based powder in the facility. 

Dryers consume natural gas and draw on-grid energy to the facility

Dryer: Energy from utility grid
required to power the dryers

Recyclable grow bags offset the future production of virgin plastics

Recyclable grow bags: Recycling offsets
use of virgin plastics

Waste Processing:
The use of recyclable grow bags minimizes impact of the cultivation process and waste processing. Recycling the grow bags offsets the future production of  virgin plastics.

Post-Production Environmental Management

Our team is careful to minimize waste throughout the production and cultivation cycle. 

However, some production waste cannot be reused internally. This waste is transported to a waste treatment facility. 

The LCA does not consider what occurs after the mushroom powder or waste exits our facility. These downstream processes are part of another lifecycle – one that belongs to the post-production processes.

Comparative Performance

Compared to similar products, Myzel mushroom powder contributes less to climate change. 

Evaluating mushroom production for environmental impact appears to be new to the world of LCA data; comparative statistics for the nutraceuticals market is limited. That’s why our LCA is based on the closest possible products in the market. 

Environmental Footprint: Products

Whey Powder Production:
1 kilogram of whey powder for animal feed emits 1.46 kg CO2-eq.
That’s nearly 3 times higher than the impact of Myzel’s mushroom powder production on Climate Change, which is 0.55 kg CO2-eq.
Spirulina Tablets:
1 kilogram of spirulina tablets emits 7.7 kg CO2-eq.
That is 14 times the impact of Myzel’s mushroom powder on Climate Change

Environmental Footprint: Processes

The environmental impact of Myzel’s Production processes was built based on a benchmark comparing businesses in the manufacturing sector. 

The hypothetical model assesses conventional heating and electricity consumption against renewable energy consumption from sources like solar and geothermal power.

The benchmark considered the energy required to produce 1 kilogram of mushroom powder.

Myzel Sustainability Benchmarks

How We Completed the Assessment

In the autumn of 2022, a third party sustainability expert custom-built an environmental impact assessment for Myzel Organics. The report addresses Myzel’s sustainability initiatives, environmental compliance, and opportunities for improvement.

The report was completed on 30-11-2022 and meets the requirements of ISO 14040, ISO 14044, ISO 14025, and the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method. 

Ecochain Mobius, an LCA software developed by Ecochain Technologies, was used to calculate values in the report. The assessment is carried out on the basis of primary data collected by Myzel Organics and secondary data sourced from the Ecoinvent v3.6 database.

The results of the LCA study are only comparable if they comply with the same calculation method as is used in this LCA.

Next Steps: Myzel’s Sustainable Evolution

The Preliminary LCA is the first step in a long journey of providing public-facing data on the processes and changes we make at Myzel to ensure the sustainability of our products. We’ll continue to run annual LCAs and monthly energy audits to create a living record of our environmental impact

Our efforts aren’t limited to audits. 

Field of grain at sunset

We’ve been operating as an organic, non-GMO facility since our first production run in early 2023. In December 2023, Myzel achieved our Canada Organic certification. Now we’re awaiting our non-GMO certification, anticipated in January 2024. 

The team at Myzel is serious about quality, sustainability, and the environment. These principles are built into everything we do!

View the details of our sustainability strategy and our vision for sustainability.