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we are

human

powered

Human Powered Business is based on a simple yet radical truth: Business is a human endeavor. People drive our business forward, and, in return, the business puts coworker and community wellbeing at the center of everything we do. This model fosters a self-fulfilling culture defined by individual empowerment and collaborative action that drives better business results in the long term. In other words, the business benefits when the people who power it prosper. At New Belgium, we’ve spent more than three decades pioneering and implementing this philosophy. What we’ve learned – and the results we’ve achieved – suggest this model represents a big opportunity for businesses everywhere.

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A Note to Business Leaders from CEO

Shaun Belongie

With many years of experience at Fortune 500 companies, I've seen how the relentless pursuit of business results and profit margins can come at the expense of employees. But what if we dared to take a different approach, one that breaks away from what's become the norm in corporate America? What if we were bold enough to invest more in our people, and allow our business performance to be the outcome of that investment rather than the other way around? 

New Belgium Brewing’s success story over the past 30+ years is the direct result of that bold business model. As a Human Powered Business, we invest more in our coworkers, and, in turn, they invest more of themselves in the business. We also consider our broader impact on the world around us. We’re certainly not perfect by any means, yet we know in the long run that businesses investing in the wellbeing of people and our planet show greater resilience and better long-term financial performance. 

But caring for the wellbeing of people and addressing our biggest societal challenges, including our impact on the planet, is work that requires collaboration from all of us. While I’m proud of our ambition to change the way business is done here at New Belgium, I recognize this approach must extend beyond our own walls if we want to see more meaningful change.  

So, my question to you is this – do you dare to join us?  

Because I’ll tell you – we certainly have a hell of a lot of fun doing it this way.  

Why Does Human-Powered Business Matter? 

  • Our world faces historic challenges – including economic inequality, climate change, and racial injustice.

  • Corporations must play a role in promoting real solutions. Unfortunately, the past four decades have seen corporate America become increasingly dehumanized, despite well-publicized promises to change.

  • Human Powered Business seeks to reverse these trends.

  • If widely adopted, we believe Human Powered Business will greatly accelerate the pace of solutions to our biggest challenges – while also building stronger, more profitable, and more resilient businesses over the long term.

 

New Belgium's Approach

  • Rather than driving for maximum short-term profits at any cost, the Human Powered Business model supports healthy profit balanced with prioritized benefits for our people and planet – generating economic prosperity for all coworkers and supporting the needs of our communities and customers.

  • We have plenty of room to grow and improve – but that’s why we built into our business model the incentive to act in a way that promotes fairness, transparency, inclusivity, individuality, healthy families, real work-life balance, environmental stewardship, and an unwavering commitment to craft across every aspect of our business.

  • The result? We’re among the biggest and fastest-growing craft breweries in America. New Belgium didn’t lay off a single coworker as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We enjoy incredibly low turnover and high engagement among our workforce. Our team comes to work every day invested in the quality of our product and the success of our company, because the company invests in the quality and success of their life everywhere we can.

The Four Core Principles

of Human-Powered Business

  • we

    do1

    right

    by people

    People are at the heart of New Belgium – and always have been. We embrace our coworkers and support full and meaningful lives for them, their families, and our communities. We define wellbeing comprehensively to include economic/financial, social, environmental as well as physical health. As we’ve grown (1,300 coworkers and counting), we’ve only strengthened our investments in the people who power our business, with practices like total financial transparency, pay equity initiatives, 100% paid health insurance premiums for every coworker, an on-site Wellness Center with full-time physician for coworkers and their families, and more. In turn, the people who power our business have only strengthened their commitment to keeping the company healthy and strong.

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  • we

    make2

    world-class

    beer

    for everyone

    From the beginning, we’ve focused on our superpower – making great beer, and doing it responsibly. Our coworkers are skilled experts, with talents honed over time, who take pride in their craft. Becoming one of America’s largest and fastest-growing craft breweries has only increased our ability to invest in innovation and quality. Over the years, we’ve won 34 medals at the Great American Beer Festival – starting with a Gold for our original Abbey Ale in 1993, and most recently winning Gold for our Trippel in 2021. Our team started making sours way back in 1999, and now operate the largest sour beer program in the United States.

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  • we

    inspire3

    social and environmental

    change

    We believe business should be a force for good. That’s why we push forward solutions to the biggest social and environmental challenges of our time. This means taking a long-term view of success and the belief that building value for our communities and our planet is equally important as generating shareholder value. As a certified B Corporation since 2012, our commitment to social and environmental accountability starts at the foundation of our corporate structure. From there, we use every tool at our disposal – including a leading climate action plan, a scalable philanthropy model, vocal advocacy in the policy arena, and a long tradition of using our brand to mobilize customers in support of the world’s most pressing movements for change.

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  • we

    have4

    a hell of a lot of

    fun

    Having fun is central to our business. It allows for work to be a space that drives meaning and connection, while building an inclusive culture that invites coworkers to be themselves and champion one another. We encourage people to take risks, push boundaries, and let their freak flags fly because ideas that change the world rarely come from a textbook or follow a straight line. At New Belgium, every coworker receives a custom bicycle on their one-year anniversary, and at 10- and 20-year anniversaries we give everyone a paid sabbatical to recharge and pursue other passions. We’ve always approached culture intentionally – a strong organic community of good people who each bring their own unique experiences mixed with programs and traditions that give us time to have fun together and a strong sense of shared purpose.

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A Brewery for Good

Being a certified B Corp means that we use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. New Belgium has been doing this work since the day we were born, and thanks to our B Corp Certification, we’re able to track our progress over time and see how we compare to other values-driven companies. It empowers us to continue protecting our culture and values.

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Protecting our people & places

  • Climate

    Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. That’s why we worked to make Fat Tire the first certified carbon neutral beer in the U.S—and we’re not stopping there. We’re committed to making all our beers carbon neutral by 2030.

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  • Land

    & Water

    We’re proud to support national policy efforts and local organizations that help keep our water clean and our public lands intact.

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  • Diversity, Equity,

    & Inclusion

    Founded by a social worker, New Belgium has always been committed to promoting inclusion. Our beer is Brewed for All and created with you in mind.

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Force for Good Report

In 1991, New Belgium set out to build a craft beer movement and prove business could be a force for good. Read our Force for Good report to learn more about how we're improving our beer's impact on ecosystems and communities.
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Giving Back

As the brainchild of a social worker and her husband, community involvement and partnering with non-profit organizations have always been a part of New Belgium's ethos. We strive to positively impact the communities where we do business. Learn more about the grants and programs we offer.
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