Ways to Sell Your Sustainability

A new study by Indiana University says that consumers are willing to pay about $1.30 per six-pack more if a brewery practices sustainable efforts in their brewing process. The study, called the “Willingness-to-pay for Sustainable Beer,” was published by the journal PLOS ONE.

“Our sustainability efforts are now a big part of our brand story, and it’s a story we are excited to share,” said Denver Beer Co.’s Patrick Crawford to Brewer recently after announcing they added solar panels. “Corporate America has a lot of power to lead by good example. I wish more businesses would make this type of investment.”

Meghan Hoey, the Director of Marketing for Worthy Brewing shared some ways that the Bend, Oregon brewery is helping sell what they do to consumers.

​”​We promote our efforts via in-store promotions and via print collateral throughout our ​pubs (​including the brewery and Taps & Tacos​​)​,” she said. “We have an educational kiosk at our Pub entrance to educate customers on how solar works — ​it ​also displays real-time and historical PV production​.”​

​Worthy host​s​ solar workshops and educational events with organizations like: Solar Oregon, Community Solar, and the Environmental Center​ as well.

Hoey said they are exploring participating in a bottle recycling program for single serve ​SKUs with Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative​ while they are also going through a package redesign that will include brief verbiage that will educate the consumer about ​their efforts​.

The wording will say:​ “Earth First. Beer Second.’ (​the company’s​ mantra) and ‘% of all Worthy beer sales is donated to environmental organizations.’

​Many ​of the area ​apartment buildings and homes surrounding Worthy’s ​brewery do not have the capability to compost​, so Hoey said they are exploring ​the ability to ​start​ their own ‘neighborhood’ composting program where Worthy employees will go around to neighborhoods and offer to collect compost that ​they can include with ​their own restaurant/brewery compost​.

That ​compost ​then gets picked up by local farms to use​, and ​Hoey said added they then purchase produce from ​those farms for ​their pubs​ to go full-circle​.

Hoey added that ​The ​Worthy Garden Club​ is ​Worthy’s 501c3​ ​collective of business owners, entrepreneurs, energy specialists, agriculturists, scientists, and astronomers working together to teach ​their community to respect and protect the beauty of our planet.

​”​Through ties with educational institutions and local environmental groups, we are able to participate in important natural science research and deliver those results to the public​,” Hoey said​. ​”​Our mission is to showcase the wonders of the planet (and beyond) while emphasizing the need to protect this special place we call home.​”​

The garden club operates with two arms — one on the ground and one in the sky.

​The greenhouse and hop yard serve as a base for all garden-related activities, hosting monthly activities during the summer to discuss everything from growing hops to bee keeping to composting to native landscaping. An observatory brings the beauty of the cosmos to the public’s eye, raising science literacy through tours, educational programs, informal lectures, and night sky and solar viewings.

​”​Together, we highlight sustainable life practices that help conserve our planet’s resources,” Hoey said.

​Worthy doesn’t just sell sustainability. They live it.​

​They work at reducing​ energy use with a 56 SunMaxx solar hot water collectors (panels) covering 1,450 sq ft​.,​ plus​ 2,000 gallon solar hot water storage tank aka ‘hot tub’​ and 27.5 kW rooftop, 117 solar panels, PV system ​and​ 12.24 kW, 48-solar panel awning-kilowatt solar electric system​.​

​They use high K-factor insulation to better control temperatures ​and skylights for natural lighting.​

​Worthy is also exploring a community investment with other local breweries in an anaerobic digester, which can removes 99 percent of organic load and generates bio gas, which can be used to produce carbon neutral fleet fuel, heat or electricity; and reduces carbon footprint by avoiding burning fossil fuels.

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