Crafting a Sustainable Business

The craft beer movement has accrued a diehard following, recently creating a community of beer lovers and aficionados. In the last two decades microbreweries have been popping up across the country, serving home-brewed ales and lagers to thirsty followers.

Craft brewers have carved out an important niche – many  breweries aim to create beer that not only tastes good but also is good for the environment.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user: The Prudent Cyclist

The New Belgium Brewing company has been at the forfront of “greening” the beer industry.

In the late 1990s, a group of employees got together and advocated for greater emphasis on sustainability. Over the next year they worked with other employees and experts to create the first Sustainability Management System – a document describing the current environmental impact, goals for improving in the future and a plan to get the wheels turning. Check out the report: New Belgium Going Green 

New Belgium has made green a business priority – even hiring a sustainability director and specialist. Some initiatives they have developed include –

  • A group of employees who develop meetings and trainings on topics from composting to biking for everyone at the award-winning workplace to get involved in.
  • Installed an on-site treatment plant to turn wastewater into methane gas which is then used to power and heat the brewery. It can produce up to 15% of the company’s energy needs.
  • Incorporated solar panels on top of their packaging hall.
  • New Belgium also became the country’s first brewery to purchase 100% of its electricity from wind power in 1999.
  • Developed the Brown Bottle Recycling Program in 2003 with participating bars and restaurants to recycle exclusively amber glass – the glass they use to bottle their beer.
  • They also give each employee a bike after their one-year anniversary with the brewery.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user: Canadian Veggie

Craft your own sustainability story! Follow @newbelgium or check out local craft beer companies in your area! Learn more about the craft brew industry here and more green business at Planet Forward. 


One thought on “Crafting a Sustainable Business

  1. Hi Melissa,

    This is a great article-like blog post with advanced integration of links and multimedia. But, you need to include your name somewhere! Also, do not be afraid to let your voice shine through.


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