In corporate boardrooms around the world, “sustainability” is a big buzzword. Many businesses invoke the idea of going green in an effort to woo earth-conscious consumers, but taking real, meaningful action requires effort and a willingness to potentially sacrifice the company’s bottom line for the good of the planet.
So needless to say, it’s a pretty big deal that BrewDog announced they’ve become not only a carbon-neutral brewery, but a carbon-negative one.
This week, the Scottish brewery announced a series of investments totalling a £30 million in green infrastructure and other initiatives that will ultimately remove twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as BrewDog creates each year. According to their first sustainability report, that will involve using local wind turbines for electricity to power for its breweries and taprooms, turning malted barley generated during the brewing process into the green fuel biomethane, and getting a fleet of electric delivery vehicles on the road. Even beers brewed using bread and fruits that would otherwise go to waste factor into the plan.
In addition to getting as close to carbon neutral as possible with their production, BrewDog will go further by actively removing carbon through other green initiatives. In partnership with “Lead Scientific Advisor” professor Mike Berners-Lee, they’ve purchased 2,050 acres of land in the Scottish Highlands, where they will plant one million trees to create what they’re calling the BrewDog Forest. Additionally, Forbes reports that BrewDog will also restore 650 acres of Scottish peatland in the years ahead.
Inspired to take matters into their own hands after recognizing that the world’s governments aren’t taking climate change seriously enough, BrewDog hopes their commitment to taking responsibility for the carbon they create— and then some— will inspire other businesses to follow suit.
“Through our work at BrewDog we wanted to set a new standard for all businesses,” co-founder James Watt told Forbes. “Businesses need to be held accountable for their impacts on the planet. We welcome other businesses starting conversations with us.”
Between aggressive benchmarks, aggressive timelines, and a willingness to document their strategy for slowing down climate change, BrewDog has decidedly thrown down the gauntlet for not only other breweries around the world, but businesses as a whole. Hopefully their commitment to tackling our climate crisis can create widespread change for the better.
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