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Carbon negative beer….does it taste better?

15th January 2021

It was a “normal” lockdown Friday night in one of our colleague’s households when out of the blue they received a message from a friend  “BREWDOG ARE GIVING AWAY FREE BEER!!!”. Was this fake news or an ill attempted clickbait lockdown joke…? They had to find out to be sure. After sitting in a virtual queue for over two hours they finally got on to the website; it was true!

BrewDog the “cult” beer manufacturer was giving away free beer (postage not included). The giveaway was to promote one of the newest additions to their product lines – “Lost Lager” – the promise of free beer did drive a few of our colleagues to make a purchase. However, BrewDog was not only giving away free beer but also planting a tree for every 4-pack sold. The beer offer and environmental initiative runs deeper than a fad promotion, it forms part of the “BrewDog tomorrow” strategy which is essentially their sustainability strategy for the organisation.

It wasn’t until a talk on climate change by the nations most treasured sustainability champion; David Attenborough, that BrewDog and CEO James Watt realised they could do much more to help the environment and drive positive change within their business. The BrewDog tomorrow initiative was born and the primary overarching objective was to ensure that BrewDog and future generations had a planet to brew on and inhabit. With a clear strategy in place and the sustainability ship being steered by the CEO, BrewDog’s sustainability transformation was rapid and drastic.

The business has implemented several technologies and initiatives to reduce carbon in production and the supply chain;

  • Production in the UK powered by wind
  • Spent grain being turned into Biogas
  • Electric vehicles being introduced for London deliveries
  • Local brewing – reduce beer travel and unnecessary transport
  • Installation of a C02 recovery system to reuse to carbonate their drinks

According to BrewDog’s most recent sustainability report, the company has a carbon footprint of 67,951 tons. From now on, they plan to remove twice as much carbon from the air than it emits every single year. With the purchase of 2050 acre site in the Scottish Highlands this isn’t just a statement it’s a reality. Watt believes that being carbon neutral is no longer enough, he hopes that BrewDog’s work will set a new standard for all manufacturers and businesses.

Can I be like BrewDog?

The short answer is yes. But before you start erecting wind turbines and plastering solar panels on every roof you must have a sustainability strategy in place and the best way to do that is to embed sustainability within your company strategy. Alarmingly only 56% of respondents from a recent survey we conducted said they have a sustainability strategy in place.

Inenco is helping companies to develop robust sustainability strategies. The focus is on helping our customers understand what aspects of sustainability are most material to their organisation and what objectives can best underpin the delivery of their core business plan.

But as with Brewdog, the starting point for any sustainability conversations is to make sure that your board is bought into the idea. A clear consultancy methodology and facilitated workshops can help define what a customer wants to get out of a strategy, drive engagement and create board buy-in.

To hear more about how you can drive change within your business and develop a clear and robust sustainability strategy contact one of our experts on 01252 785294 or email