Scottish spirits producer Brewdog Distilling has become a carbon-negative producer and revealed plans to invest £30 million (US$39m) into creating a greener business.
The Lone Wolf Gin producer now removes twice as much carbon from the air as it emits each year.
As part of its green initiatives, Brewdog has purchased 2,050 acres of land in the Scottish Highlands north of Loch Lomond to create the Brewdog Forest. The company plans to plant one million trees at the site over the next few years.
Work on the Brewdog Forrest is expected to start in early 2021 and will see the company create 1,400 acres of broadleaf tree native woodlands and 650 acres of peatland restoration.
Until it is able to begin planting the Brewdog Forest, the brewer and distiller will work with offset partners on a series of projects in order to double remove all of its carbon.
James Watt, co-founder of Brewdog, said: “Our carbon. Our problem. So, we are going to fix it ourselves. Huge change is needed right now, and we want to be a catalyst for that change in our industry and beyond. We fully acknowledge that we are a long way from perfect.
“However, we are determined to rapidly and fundamentally change everything as we work hard to ensure we have a positive impact on the planet.”
Brewdog has worked with lead scientific adviser professor Mike Berners-Lee to calculate the company’s carbon footprint. The partnership has helped to direct more than £30m of investment towards green infrastructure to support the business in reducing its carbon emissions.
Berners-Lee, founder of Small World Consulting, said: “After decades of inaction we have a full-on climate crisis on our hands. The scale and speed of the change we now need is enormous, and cuts right across politics, business and every corner of society.
“The good news is that if we are smart about our transition, we can make our lives better at the same time as making them more sustainable. With the actions laid out in [the Brewdog sustainability] report, Brewdog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs. They are raising the bar for the business world, both in their strong carbon cutting action and their straight talking.”
As part of its green initatives, Brewdog has also announced plans to release Bad Beer Vodka in 2021, which will be made by distilling beer from brews that are “not quite in spec, to beers which are too old to sell”. The “zero-waste vodka” will also help the brand reduce its annual waste.
Other green infrastructure projects currently under way at Brewdog include powering all UK bars with electricity generated by wind, turning spent grain into green gas to power the production facilities and electrifying its vehicle fleet.
The brewer and distiller is also building an onsite anaerobic digester to turn its wastewater into clean water and produce food grade carbon dioxide to carbonate its beers.
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Author: Owen Bellwood