Sustainability stories

Thanks for taking the time to familiarize yourself with our heart-felt approach to business here at New Belgium. On this page, you'll find some stories which illustrate who we are, and why we do what we do. Our commitment towards sustainability began on day one of New Belgium’s history when environmental stewardship made it into the first draft of the company’s Core Values and Beliefs, and carries through to today. Happy reading!

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  • We like beer. But do you know what we love more?

    You. *blush*    Yes, brewing and bottling a perfect beer is one of our favorite things in the whole world. But it isn’t actually the ultimate reason for our existence (though it is darn fun and ain’t nobody here complainin’). New Belgium is on this big blue planet because we care about life (check your pulse - that includes you!) and we want to do our part to make living on Earth crazy awesome. If Michael Jackson just started singing “Heal the world, make it a better place” inside your head… just know you’re not the only one, okay? NBB’s ...

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  • Live Long and Report Stuff

    Did you know that scientists have proven you can live longer if you set goals for yourself? For real, just set some goals, give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and you’ll live to be at least 106.* Speaking of goals, we set a number of them here at the brewery. Not only do these goals help keep us young and healthy, but they also keep the New Belgium Mothership steered in the right direction. What are these goals, you ask? Well, they run the gamut, covering every area of our operations and values. Some ...

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  • Driving trucks and breaking hearts

    So we just did a photo shoot at the brewery. And this isn’t for your typical tasty beer pic; this photo shoot featured some very handsome men and some very sexy, fuel-efficient vehicles. What’s more, it was done in the name of greenhouse gas reductions. Random yet intriguing, no?! Both the fellas and the wheels in this particular photo shoot happened to be from our Brewery Direct Service (BDS) team, which is the group of New Belgium coworkers who deliver our beer to bars, restaurants & liquor stores all over our hometown turf of Fort Collins. Not only do these ...

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  • WHAT IS WASTE, ANYWAY?

     If you were to put all the ants in the world in one pile and all the humans in the world in another pile, which pile would be bigger? The pile of ants- duh! And yet, surprisingly, our shovels aren’t colliding with any underground ant landfills and we don’t find ourselves stubbing our toes on tiny ant smokestacks. In nature, one creature’s waste is another’s food.     At New Belgium, we think that’s a smart and classy idea so we work hard to find a home for brewery byproducts. This means that we’ve been able to divert 99.9% of our ...

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  • More for the conversation on cans and bottles.

      As a craft brewer who fills both glass bottles and aluminum cans with delicious beers, we inevitably receive questions (and have our own) regarding the environmental impact of each container. A comprehensive, unbiased study comparing the total environmental impact of glass bottles to that of aluminum cans does not exist. So we see a lot of guessing going on out there and many of those guesses are being stated as though they were ultimate facts. Below are some questions we hear often along with answers based on the research we’ve done. Remember, though, that since a comprehensive study has ...

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  • Sourcing local ingredients at New Belgium

    Have you ever wondered what your favorite companies are doing to support your favorite local communities?  It is a common question in this growing era of conscious consumerism.  Skye, a beer fan in Colorado, recently posted her question on Facebook in an effort to find out what New Belgium was doing to support our local community.  We thought you might be interested in this topic as well, so we are reposting it here on our blog.  Read on!   Skye:  An interesting point was brought to my attention lately: New Belgium does not use any local ingredients. Being the ...

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  • 2008 Water Data

    We're happy to report a reduction in our water use ratio during 2008.  Down to 3.8 barrels of water for every barrel of beer we make.   So, if one barrel ends up in the beer, what happens to the other 2.8?  Well, approximately 2 are cleaned at our on-site process water treatment plant.  That water is then further cleaned by the City and returned to the Poudre River, our watershed, for downstream users.  The 0.8 is lost to evaporation and spent grain. Why the improvement in 2008?  Optimized cleaning regimes, fixed water usage spread over more barrels, and less irrigation, we think.  ...

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  • Waste Not, Want Not

    Here's what our overall waste picture looked like in 2008: But we don't like to include spent grain, which goes to a local cattle farmer, in our waste data because you lose granularity on everything else.  So, here's what the data looks like without it: This is information we can use.  In 2007, we set a waste stream diversion goal (not including spent grain) of 95%.  So, we're well on our way.  Last year, we reported a diversion rate of 73.3%.  Several reasons for the dramatic improvement: (1) a new sorting station in the kitchen, with a much more pleasant compost receptacle...

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  • 2008 Sustainability NonReport

    Since our 2007--first ever--sustainability report was published late last year, we have been torn between issuing another one just months later or going silent for over 18 months.  Neither good options!  So, we're going to share the 2008 content through the blog. First up, on the social sustainability front:  Have you seen how we spent $470,000 in philanthropy funds last year?  And, here are the local grant guidelines for 2009.  Our areas of focus are:  water stewardship, sensible transportation & bike advocacy, sustainable agriculture, and youth environmental education. Tomorrow, we'll dive into waste (and recycling and ...

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  • New Belgium's First-Ever Sustainability Report!

    This is our first attempt at summing up all of the environmentally and socially responsible activities at New Belgium and making them available in 20 short pages. Read the report, we would love to hear your feedback & questions. Post a comment/question here and we'll give you a good 'ol response. New Belgium 2007 Sustainability Report

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