Published on January 15th, 2009 | by pmcleod5
How Sustainable is Your Six-Pack? New Belgium Beer Answers.
New Belgium Brewing Company already topped lists of sustainable beers. Its reputation and practices earned Chief Branding Officer Greg Owsley a talk at last June’s Sustainable Brands Conference. And now, the Colorado-based company has released its first sustainability report, which includes a life cycle analysis of a Fat Tire six-pack.
Triple Bottom Line
New Belgium’s sustainability report highlights what sustainable businesses call their “triple bottom line” – people, planets, and profits. With companies from different sectors starting to embrace sustainability (e.g., Toyota and GE), New Belgium’s market share success provides more evidence for green business as good business. The new report describes New Belgium’s ongoing and planned environmental and social initiatives, including renewable energy use, green building design, increased brewing efficiency, and a philanthropic bike festival (Tour de Fat).
Fat Tire Six-Pack Life Cycle Analysis
In 2007, New Belgium figured out the carbon footprint of a six-pack of its popular Fat Tire beer. They found that each six-pack results in 3200 g of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions. (Note that this about equal to the emissions from driving a car one mile.) The greatest emissions were due to in-store refrigeration. New Belgium is reviewing the data with the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2015.
The new report also reviews New Belgium’s philosophy, their unique brand of playful sustainability and responsibility that helped earn them the top spot on Outside Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For. Their stated purpose is “To operate a profitable company which makes our love and talent manifest.” They are honest about the path toward sustainability being a process, and according to their report, are continuously setting new goals that honor their stakeholders and the earth.
With this new report and focus on sustainability, New Belgium gives new meaning to the term “drink responsibly.” Sip on that.