When the BrewDog team wants to do something, they do it bolder than anyone. The international craft brewery announced big plans this week to be carbon negative in their operations — investing $35 million in a plan to remove twice as much carbon from the air than it emits every single year.
A standout piece of this announcement is its purchase of 2,050 acres of Scottish Highlands to create the BrewDog Forest, on which they plan to plant 1 million trees over the next few years. BrewDog will create 1,400 of broadleaf native woodlands, and 650 acres of peatland restoration in accordance with the Woodland Carbon code the Peatland code.
“Woodland creation of this scale is at the forefront of the fight to sequester atmospheric carbon in the U.K. and the BrewDog Forest will be one of the largest native woodlands created in the U.K. for many years,” said David Robertson, Director, Scottish Woodlands.
As well as sequesting carbon woodland creation also promotes bio- diversity, natural flood attenuation and drives rural economic development. Work is expected to start on the BrewDog Forest in early 2021.
The brewer also plans to create a sustainable campsite on the land, that will host sustainability retreats and workshops for the general public, in addition to inviting its 130,000 Equity Punks investors to help with tree planting from early 2021.
Over the past few months BrewDog has been working closely with lead scientific advisor Professor Mike Berners-Lee and his team at Small World Consulting. Berners-Lee is one of the world’s leading experts in carbon foot-printing and sustainability and has led the process of calculating BrewDog’s carbon footprint and been pivotal in the design of its carbon removal plan. The partnership has helped to direct over $39m of investment into green infrastructure to support the business in reducing carbon emissions.
In order to double remove all of its carbon, until it is able to begin planting the BrewDog Forest, the brewer will be working with offset partners on a series of projects. Each organization has the highest standard of accreditation and has been additionally vetted by Berners-Lee and his team with each project deemed beneficial to biodiversity and local communities.
“With the actions laid out in this report, BrewDog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs,” said Mike Berners Lee, Founder of Small World Consulting. “They are raising the bar for the business world, both in their strong carbon cutting action and their straight talking. BrewDog beer can represent another small nudge for a better world.”
Green infrastructure projects currently underway at BrewDog include:
- The brewery and the UK bars are now wind powered.
- Turning spent grain into green gas which powers the brewery.
- Building an onsite anaerobic digestor to turn wastewater into clean water and produce food grade C02 to carbonate our beers.
- Investing in the electrification of its vehicle fleet.
- Investing in local brewing sites across the UK, EU, USA and Australia to significantly reduce the miles its beer is traveling to reach the consumer.
Sustainability projects planned for BrewDog USA include:
- Solar panels to power the Canal Winchester brewery
- Hop farm and apple orchard added to the brewery campus
- Wastewater treatment plant
- Anaerobic digestor
- Electric delivery vehicles
“Our Carbon. Our Problem. So, we are going to fix it ourselves. Huge change is needed right now, and we want to be a catalyst for that change in our industry and beyond,” James Watt, Co-founder of BrewDog commented. “We fully acknowledge that we are a long way from perfect. However, we are determined to rapidly and fundamentally change everything as we work hard to ensure we have a positive impact on the planet.”