Sustainability at Progress Brewing
Brewing beer is an inherently resource-intensive process, consuming water, energy, agricultural products, and more in order to produce some of our favorite beverages.This means there are many opportunities for breweries to improve environmental sustainability while potentially increasing profitability of the business, doing well while doing good. At the same time, pursuing all available environmental strategies would be neither time, nor cost-effective. For our final project, Team 5 worked with local craft brewery Progress Brewing to evaluate potential environmental strategies that could help them grow their triple bottom line: profit, planet, and people. We sought to identify the actions that would be most cost-effective for Progress and capitalize on any synergies that may exist between actions. In this report, we will discuss Progress’ current state of operations, the potential environmental strategies that we considered, and our recommendation for Progress going forward. The sustainability measures we analyzed for Progress include: Greenhouse Gases (GHG) (CO2 recovery), water reduction, a facilities energy audit, and the use of aluminium cans or glass bottles.
Our recommendation to Progress Brewing is to take a cost-reduction strategy when implementing sustainability measures. Through an analysis of greenhouse gases (CO2 recovery), water reduction, and a facilities energy audit, we’ve learned that C02 recovery is not a cost-effective measure at this time. More appropriately, water reduction measures include: 1) implementing recommendations from The Brewer’s Association, 2) adjusting water flow for Brewing Equipment, and 3) implementing facilities fixtures improvements and leak detection. We also suggest Progress Brewing reach out to SCE regarding a free commercial energy audit. The energy audit will allow for appropriate scope development, depending on what is economically feasible or has an efficient payback period. Water reduction measures can be a part of the EA scope. Progress Brewing can make many small cost-effective changes that would make it more sustainable, but large changes may have to wait until they become larger.
-Anna Huang, Jon Okada, Sean Quintana, Jen Roks, Rob Young