Friday, January 16, 2009

New Belgium Releases its First-Ever Sustainability Report

We've talked about New Belgium's environmentally friendly footprint on Beer Tap TV many times in the past. Well, they're serious about being environmental stewards and have just released a comprehensive document that defines the brewery’s commitment to operating a sustainable business. Check out the Press Release, which only scratches the surface. Be sure to check out their website, which is loaded with tons of other facts (like the"Life Cycle Assessment of a Fat Tire 6-pack), figures and suggestions on how you can help.


Ft. Collins, CO, January 15, 2009—New Belgium Brewing, the nation’s third largest craft brewer, recently unveiled its first-ever corporate sustainability report—a revealing look at the progress and challenges of operating a sustainable business.

The 2007-2008 report outlines New Belgium’s “Triple Bottom Line” approach to business, measuring the environmental, economic and social effects of the brewery. It also highlights several of the brewer’s unique environmental initiatives—from a decade-long commitment to using wind energy to a greenhouse gas life cycle assessment (LCA) of a six-pack of Fat Tire beer. The full report is available at .

“Environmental sustainability has always been a core value at New Belgium, so we felt it was time to take a measure of our progress,” said Jenn Orgolini, New Belgium’s Sustainability Director. “While it is gratifying to know that we have made great strides in our environmental performance, this report will help us set goals and make plans to help us close the gap in areas where we could stand to improve.”

The report looks at New Belgium’s corporate, environmental and social performance, using metrics and data gathered over a five-year period. Among the highlights of the report:

  • New Belgium’s five-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate was 13.4 percent, beating the craft brewing average of 8.1 percent—proof that doing the right thing pays, both financially and otherwise.
  • Through a mix of green power from its local utility, Community Energy wind RECs, and its own Process Water Treatment Plant (PWTP), 100 percent of New Belgium’s electricity comes from renewable resources.
  • On the energy conservation side of the equation, New Belgium’s investment of more than $1 million in energy-sparing equipment, as well as process changes related to cooling the beer, helps cut the electricity used to produce its beer.
  • New Belgium’s new packaging hall, completed in 2007, incorporates several green building and energy conservation measures, including: skylights, solar tubes and windows for daytime illumination; an HVAC system that features displacement-ventilation technology and direct/indirect cooling and is Freon free; and numerous water conservation elements including landscaping that utilizes xeriscape principles.
  • Tour de Fat, New Belgium’s event celebrating all things bicycle, also includes a car-for-bike swap, where people commit to live car-free for a year. In exchange for their vehicle, the Car-for-Bike Trade participants receive a hand-built commuter bike. By pledging to bike instead of drive, the volunteers commit to pedaling to work, out to dinner and even to get groceries. To see the Car-for-Bike Trade ceremonies from Tour de Fat stops and read and watch swapper applications, go to Visitors to the site can join New Belgium’s Team Wonderbike – a bike commuter program that encourages members to Bike More – Drive Less.

The Sustainability report will be produced regularly, with the next report to be released in May.

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