Happy Earth Day: A Message From Our Sustainability Coordinator
Happy Earth Day! Liz Wonder here, your friendly neighborhood Sustainability Coordinator.
Just like World Water Day, one day to celebrate our great life-sustaining planet just isn’t enough. That’s why at Founders Brewing Co. every day is Earth Day!
We do lots of different things around the brewery to save on utilities, reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our dependency on landfills and raise awareness of important environmental causes. You already know that we focus efforts around water savings, but you might not know that we also work to reduce our electric and natural gas consumption as well.
Saving Energy During Brewing
Brewing beer takes a lot of energy. That energy is consumed by both heating liquid and chilling that liquid back down. We heat it during the mash and boiling processes, and chill it down during fermentation, packaging and in our warehouse and, of course, in the taps. In the last year, we’ve saved 4,153,443 cubic feet of natural gas by heating incoming water with steam coming from our kettle during brewing. This reduction in natural gas use has saved the equivalent of 228 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s just one piece of equipment in one of our three brewhouses!
Fermentation Energy Reduction
Another piece of equipment we have is used to change liquid carbon dioxide to gaseous carbon dioxide. It’s a really neat piece of equipment that both heats our CO2 to gas phase, but also chills our glycol mix to keep our fermenting beer nice and chilled. This has the ability to save approximately 156,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) annually. This reduces our carbon emissions by an additional 116 tons.
Company-Wide Waste Reduction
Reducing our natural gas and electric consumption is really important to us, and we work very diligently to do so, but it’s not the only thing that is important to us. We also have a company-wide program to reduce the amount of waste we generate, and reduce further the amount of that waste that we send to landfills! Our goal for 2018 is to divert 90% of our overall byproducts and waste away from landfills to be either recycled or composted. The remaining 10% will be sent to the Kent County Waste to Energy facility, incinerated and turned into electricity for local use.
Try to take some time today to think about your daily choices and practices. Say ‘no’ to that plastic straw. Walk, carpool or take the bus to work this week. Remember to switch off lights in rooms you’re not in and turning off the tap to not waste water. There are lots of easy options that will help add up to a more sustainable lifestyle.
As always, let’s raise a pint to our beautiful home here on planet Earth and take steps together to make sure future generations have the chance to do so as well.