New Belgium Brewing Company
Though most companies commonly mentioned as examples of ethical and socially responsible organizations are large corporations, it is the socially responsible initiatives of small businesses that often have the most impact on local communities. These businesses generate jobs and provide goods and services for customers in smaller markets that larger firms that often are not interested in aiding. Additionally, they also provide money, resources, and volunteer time to local causes. Their owners often work as community leaders, and many choose to use their skills and the results of their successes in resolving many of the problems and issues that the community faces. One small business that does just this, is the New Belgium Brewing Company, based in Fort Collins, Colorado. New Belgium Brewing Co. strives to lessen its impact on the environment. New Belgium invested in a wind turbines, making it the first fully wind powered brewery in the United States. It has also integrated a steam condenser that captures and reuses hot water used for boiling barley and hops to start the next brew. The steam is also redirected to heat the floor tiles and de-ice the loading docks during winter. New Belgium Brewery has also incorporated sun tubes that help to light the brew house with natural daylight all year long. Along with many other energy saving processes, it strives to reduce its footprint on the environment. I believe that the company has chosen to focus on the environment because of the owner’s love for the outdoors and the social responsibility to its community to do great things. (Ethics, 2013) Along with innovative energy saving strategies, New Belgium also takes pride in reducing waste through recycling and creative reuse approaches. It tries to recycle as many supplies as possible, including cardboard boxes, keg caps, office materials, and the amber glass used in the bottling process. New Belgium also stores disbursed barley and hop grains in an on-site silo and encourages local farmers to pick up the grains, free of charge, to feed their livestock. The company even encourages its employees to reduce air pollution by using alternative transportation. As an incentive, New Belgium gives its employees “cruiser bikes” like the one pictured on its Fat Tire Amber Ale label, after one year of employment and encourages them to ride to work. (Ethics, 2013) New Belgium has also been a participant in green building methods for a long time. With each expansion of the facility they have integrated new technologies. The company also agreed to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design for Existing Buildings pilot program. From the sun tubes and daylighting throughout the facility to reusing heat in the brew house, they continue to seek new ways to conserve and recycle resources. Recycling at New Belgium is present in many unique ways, from making “waste” products into something new and useful (like spent grain to livestock feed), to supporting the recycling market in creative ways (like turning their keg caps into table surfaces). They also buy recycled products whenever they can, from paper to office furniture. From motion sensors on the lights throughout the building to fans that pull in cool winter air to chill their beer, offsetting their energy needs is the foundation to being environmentally friendly. (Ethics, 2013) I do not consider this to be an instance of strategic philanthropy. The owner, Jeff Lebesch appeared to have a love for the outdoors. The idea for the company began with a bicycling trip through Belgium, and he and his wife took a hike into Rocky Mountain National Park to write the company’s core purpose and beliefs. I think that he felt that it was his obligation to build his business as environmentally friendly as he could, to help save the place that he...
References: Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases (9th ed.).
New Belgium Brewing Company. (n.d.). New Belgium Brewing: Fat Tire Amber Ale. Retrieved
July 27, 2014, from http://www.newbelgium.com/Home.aspx
What we 're about. (n.d.). New Belgium Brewing: From a Belgian bike trip to 100% employee
Retrieved July 27, 2014, from http://www.newbelgium.com/Brewery/company.aspx
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