Ways To Get Started With Sustainability Self Reporting

Communicating sustainability efforts is big for some breweries, especially during Earth Month.

LUKI Brewery’s Earth Day Celebration included a presentation on the results of the past year’s self-reporting efforts regarding conservation measures they’d taken over the previous year.

READ MORE: An Earth Day Beer that Explores a Sustainable Grain’s Viability

It’s easier than one would think to keep track of data that tells you — and your customers — how well you’re doing, thanks to the availability of easily accessible tracking tools and widgets.

LUKI co-owner Jeff Smith suggested using the Brewers Association’s sustainability benchmarking tool, which is linked to the association’s homepage and is available to members.

“It was simple, easy to use and hit the obvious points — water, electricity, fuel and carbon dioxide,” he said. “Waste stream is another metric, but we’ll look to add that down the road a bit as it requires building a procedure to measure it.

“The rest is easy — you just need your utility bills and your State/TTB production reports. The hardest part is taking the time and entering all of the data into the tool.”

Smith said the program was helpful in part because it gave you a visual aid you could use. He planned to utilize some graphic elements at his Earth Day celebration.

“The benchmarking tools give you a nice scatter plot and show you where you are in comparison to breweries of comparable size,” he said. “It’s a little too heavy to decipher so we played with a few ideas, and, really, a clean infographic was the way to go. Min, max, median and where we are for each topic. 

“We’re going to show this graphic on our screens in the taproom starting on Earth Day and then have a separate web page on our site that shows the same data we’ll release the next day. We’ll update it quarterly.”

Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Kevin McGee believes making an effort at sustainability should be on the must-do list for every business.

READ MORE: Number Crunching Keys in Creating Power, Water Usage Goals

While AVBC’s water system is self-contained, which makes active monitoring and reporting easy, they use professionals to help with their power usage statistics.

​”​As part of our solar expansion, the RFP process made our power usage data available to the developers and they worked up both historical and prospective power usage-and-need models​,” he said. “While we could have done some of this digging and analysis ourselves, the forward looking analysis is highly nuanced and we wouldn’t have gotten very far with projections compared to what the staff at the developers are able to do with their experience and perspective.​”​

McGee also touted the benefits of using Brewers Association’s tool for goal setting, but also stressed the importance of talking to other breweries.

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