New Belgium Brewing Company is working to address several environmental issues, including the usage of non-renewable energy sources, the treatment of waste water, using and wasting less fresh water, and the recycling of as much of the firm’s waste as possible. NBB is the first brewery in the United States to be fully wind-powered, and they encourage their employees and the communities they serve to bike wherever they go, rather than drive. These efforts, along with the planning of opening a new factory to improve logistics of production and distribution, are aimed to help reduce the usage of fossil fuels for energy, and thereby reducing their carbon footprint. The company uses a system to capture its wastewater and extract methane. This takes some pressure off of the local water treatment facility, as well as providing some power for the brewery itself. The process New Belgium uses to make its beer uses only 3.9 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer, while typical companies brew using 4.875 gallons. This twenty percent reduction in water usage adds up quickly to an abundance of water conservation. NBB recycles its cardboard boxes, keg caps, office materials, the amber glass used in bottling, and its wastewater, resulting in ninety-five percent of its total waste being recycled.
New Belgium has put these efforts, as well as many others, to keep a competitive advantage in the brewing industry. The company has two distinct advantages: its image, and the quality and taste of its beer. The quality of the ale is what set the company apart initially. The social responsibility and sustainability that contribute to the brewery’s image keep NBB growing. People want to buy products that they perceive make a difference in society. NBB maintains that image, in appearance and actuality, by keeping strong ties with the communities it serves through volunteer services, green efforts, as well as scholarships and grants that it gives back directly to society.
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