Sustainability is one of our four pillars under our Founders for All program and it’s something that is near and dear to our hearts. Each year we set new goals that reflect how well we performed the previous year. This challenges us to create better processes, improve our existing efforts and pushes us to use fewer resources for each barrel of beer that is produced. We focus on three major areas in our sustainability efforts: waste, energy and water. The following outlines a little bit about our efforts and goals as we strive to continue to make a difference in our communities.
We always aim to reduce our landfill bound waste as much as possible. We consistently send between 88-90% of our waste products to be recycled, composted, or reused – sending less than half a pound of waste to incineration for every barrel of beer produced. Overall, our waste diversion ratio (that 88-90% rate) doesn’t include spent grain from the brewery, as we utilize that as a byproduct and work with local farms to reuse that material as animal feedstock. Over the last three years, we have sent 87 million pounds of grain to be used as food for an array of farm animals and over 5 million pounds of brewer’s yeast to be used in pet foods.
We are also working to continue to reduce our overall energy consumption by increased efficiency through lighting retrofit projects, boiler adjustments, and brewing optimization. Over the last several years, we have been able to make significant improvements to facility efficiency, dropping our overall energy consumption rate (megajoules/barrel packaged) by 21% from 2017 to 2019, and are continuing to improve that percentage year over year.
Water is one of our greatest resources, and we treat it that way. Wherever possible, we find ways to reclaim and reuse our water. In 2019, we used seven percent less water for every barrel of beer packaged than we did in 2017. In 2020 we went from 3.70 barrels of water consumed for every barrel of beer to 3.57 and in 2021 our goal is to bring that number down to 3.46 barrels of water for every barrel of beer packaged.
Additionally, along our supply chain, several of our major hop suppliers maintain rigorous environmental certifications including ISO 14001, and Salmon Safe farms, as well as maintaining their own environmental and philanthropic efforts. We strive to work with partners who value the environment and do their part in helping to make a difference in our communities.
We are proud to continue to make efforts to improve our water use, energy consumption and reduce our dependency on landfills.