New Belgium earns highest “zero-waste” certification

GABF New Belgium Sour003

New Belgium Brewing has received the highest certification level possible (platinum) from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) for its waste reduction efforts.

Businesses with a 90 percent waste reduction rate can apply for the certification. New Belgium has exceeded this rate since it began tracking the data more than 10 years ago, and is currently diverting 99.9 percent year-to-date.

“Being environmental stewards has been important to New Belgium since day one, 25 years ago, and our efforts toward mitigating and managing our waste are a key component of this stewardship,” said Nick Ampe, environmental health specialist at New Belgium.

New Belgium scored 69 out of 80 points across categories such as Reduce, Redesign, Zero Waste Purchasing, Leadership, and Innovation, with highest scores falling in the categories of Reduce, Reuse, and Zero Waste Purchasing. Examples of New Belgium’s efforts in these areas include:

    • Phasing out paperboard dividers from all bottled beer packages, reducing the amount of paperboard the brewery uses by more than 460 tons annually.
    • More than 99.9 percent of the waste generated from brewery operations is diverted from the landfill. Most recently, an industrial composting application was identified for some heavy, organic material at the brewery’s process water treatment plant which previously could not be composted, further improving upon the waste diversion ratio.
    • The brewery advocates for continued advancements in recycling infrastructure & viability for its product packaging, most recently co-founding the Glass Recycling Coalition. This coalition supports improvements in glass recycling rates which continue to be low in many parts of the country, including New Belgium’s home states of Colorado and North Carolina.
    • New Belgium co-workers donate time to zero waste actions, such as organized river cleanups, and regular trail cleanups on an adopted trail near the brewery in Ft. Collins, Colo.

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