Collaborative, there is no better way to describe the craft beer community. When a new brewer needs help building out their new brewery, who do they usually turn to? Fellow brewers. Whenever there is an opportunity, brewers come together to share their creativity and passion. There are countless brewing collaborations as evidence of that. When was the last time you saw a winery collaborate with a fellow winery? Or distillery? Collaboration is a distinct trait of the craft beer community.
The most recent, large-scale example is the release of a new toolkit from New Belgium Brewing Company that gives concrete guidance on how a brewery can go carbon neutral. New Belgium was founded in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colorado by Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch. It is now the fourth-largest craft brewery in the U.S. With two additional locations in Asheville, North Carolina and Denver, Colorado. The brewery is a Certified B Corp* and has donated over $29 million to charitable causes since 1991.
About a year ago, New Belgium’s flagship, Fat Tire Amber Ale became America’s first certified carbon neutral beer. This is also when New Belgium announced in a press release, that their goal was to make the “entire company across all operations-fully carbon neutral by 2030.” New Belgium’s climate action commitments stem from the company’s Human-Powered Business model – a core business philosophy that says putting the prosperity of people and communities central to every aspect of the company will create the most successful business in the long term.
On August 24th, 2021, New Belgium, in a true collaborative spirit, released a Toolkit to help guide other breweries in the journey toward net-zero carbon emissions. This detailed kit is designed to help fellow small and medium-sized breweries evaluate the size of their carbon footprint and take steps to get them to carbon neutral. There are suggestions such as: Investing in renewable energy and regenerative agriculture, asking for more recycled content from suppliers, and switching company vehicles from gasoline-powered to electric. There is also a detailed section outlining how to advocate for a strong climate policy.
“As a medium-sized company, New Belgium can only have a medium-sized impact. We know how important it is for businesses to work together to help solve the climate crisis – and drive business growth as a result,” said New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. “Rather than keeping the rewards of our carbon-neutral investments to ourselves, we’re giving away our Toolkit as an invite to other brewers to join us.”
New Belgium operates according to four key principles: Make world-class beer for everyone; do right by people; inspire social and environmental change, and have a hell of a lot of fun. They continue to be a leader in the collaborative craft beer industry.
New Belgium’s toolkit includes a step-by-step outline on how to make sustainable choices for the environment including:
- Measure your carbon footprint and set a strong carbon neutral goal
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and purchase high-quality carbon offsets
- Advocate for strong climate policy
- Earn carbon neutral certification
For more information and to check out New Belgium’s Carbon Neutral Toolkit yourself, visit www.drinksustainably.com.