Climate change is impacting the brewing industry in unique ways, and breweries are increasingly seeking to reduce their environmental impact. Recently, over 50 breweries from across the U.S. joined the Brewery Climate Declaration, calling for other business leaders, policymakers, and the public to take action on climate change. These leading breweries are using innovative solutions to cut their carbon footprints, including by opting for sustainable packaging, like Novelis’ certified high-recycled content aluminum, and they’re saving money at the same time.
Great beer relies on key ingredients—clean water, barley and hops—that are threatened by a changing climate. Clean water becomes scarcer during drought, barley crops are impacted by flooding, and hops production is threatened by warmer temperatures. Brewing is a water and energy-intensive process, so finding way to use less water and energy makes sense from a business perspective.
To reduce their greenhouse gas footprints, breweries are powering their operations with renewable energy, increasing their energy efficiency, capturing and reusing methane gas and sourcing locally.
Brewers are also cutting their emissions through sustainable packaging. The Novelis can sheet uses guaranteed high-recycled content. Recycled aluminum reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 95% compared to primary aluminum. Cans also pack more efficiently and weigh less than bottles, which reduces both the cost and the carbon intensity of shipping and distributing.
These breweries are leading the way in tackling the climate challenge in the beverage industry, and they’re reaping the economic benefits. The ripple effects of their sustainability commitment could be enormous. The beer industry is a major economic driver in the U.S., with over 2,800 breweries responsible for $246.5 billion in economic output in 2012. For every 1 job in a brewery, 45 indirect jobs are created in agriculture, transportation, distributing, business, packaging, machinery, and retail. Most Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewery, and the industry has cultivated a dedicated following of beer enthusiasts, who just may be inspired to take their own steps toward sustainability.
When Ceres launched the Climate Declaration, two years ago, Novelis was one of the first companies to sign. Now, we are proud to work with Novelis to highlight the brewing industry and their commitment to tackling climate change. And evercan is one of many new ways that breweries are brewing the future of sustainable beer.