Award-winning local craft brewery Capital Brewing Co is Australia’s first brewery to become fully certified as carbon neutral by government organisation Climate Active.
Founders and managing directors Tom Hertel and Laurence Kain worked with energy and carbon management consultancy Pangolin Associates to reduce their footprint.
“With sustainability being at the core of every decision we make, we’re incredibly proud to be recognised by Climate Active as the first brewery in Australia to be certified carbon neutral for our entire operation – all our products and all direct and indirect emissions we’ve created,” Tom says.
He adds that while sustainability has always been a focus at Capital, official certification plays a vital role in transparency and customer trust.
But how did they achieve it?
According to their recent announcement on social media, Capital first looked at reducing its emissions as much as possible.
They used 100 per cent renewable electricity at the brewery, sent 709 tonnes of spent hops, grain and yeast to a local organic farm for composting and heavily reduced their water usage.
They then calculated all the remaining emissions generated by the brewery and its supply chains. These related to packaging materials, staff commuting, fuel and gas use – everything down to the paper used in their office.
This gave them a number to work with: 1120 tonnes.
Capital purchased internationally-certified carbon credits to offset these emissions in the Orana Park Natural Capital Project.
This program is regenerating 33 km of wilderness around the Loddon River in Victoria and establishing a predator-proof sanctuary to protect endangered species like the Eastern Bettong.
“We all have a responsibility to look after our surroundings and it is widely accepted that our society needs to work quickly to avoid irreversible, catastrophic changes to our environment,” Laurence says.
The brewery aims to make it easier for other businesses to go carbon neutral by creating a template for them to follow.
The template will aim to remove barriers to certification and give other breweries a head start when calculating their own carbon outputs.
“We are choosing to provide our customers the option to continue to enjoy an ice-cold beer in the knowledge that it’s not warming the planet and, in doing so, aim to inspire change throughout the brewing industry,” Laurence says.
But the company’s sustainability ambitions don’t end with carbon neutrality. The ultimate goal is to develop zero-emissions practices and become carbon positive.
To that end, the company is transitioning to an electric fleet of vehicles, using bio-cups and packaging at their events, and working with suppliers and freight companies to encourage more sustainable business practices in related areas of the industry.
Find out more about Capital Brewing Co’s commitment to sustainability and read their public disclosure statement at the Climate Active website. The Capital Brewing Co Fyshwick taproom is open seven days, or find their beers in pubs and bottle shops around Canberra and interstate.