The craft beer industry is fairly focused on sustainability and environmental initiatives, and Pure Project is the shiniest example. The San Diego brewery has launched plans to plant over 10,000 trees and started an innovative partnership with the Plastic Bank, as two examples. In an effort to better track and share what they are doing, Pure Project released its Sustainability Report this week to highlight the actions the company has taken within the year to reduce their impact, give back, and create community around the beer they make and the business they run.
“As a brewery, we inevitably have an impact on the environment,” says Pure Project Co-founder Mat Robar. “While we cannot completely eliminate that impact, we can take steps to minimize it and re-invest in the people protecting, conserving and rebuilding the environment around us.”
The report details Pure Project’s sustainably focused partners, organic ingredients, accomplishments in waste reduction, and donations made. The level of detail is super transparent:
Pure Project carefully selects products and services from companies that share their sustainability values. Klean Kanteen and Miir–both fellow 1% for the Planet members as well as Certified B Corporations–are featured in the report. Furthermore, the selection of organic ingredients, even if they cost more, is imperative to Pure Project’s ethos of doing what’s right.
Included in Pure Project’s list of organic ingredients is grain, which–aside from water–is the single largest ingredient in beer. The company sources much of their grain sustainably from Admiral Maltings, California’s only CCOF-certified malting operation. Subsequently, spent grain (leftover malt from the brewing process) is one of the largest waste products produced by the brewery. Pure Project chooses to give their spent grain to KD Farms, a local farm in Escondido, so that it is repurposed instead of thrown away.
On the waste reduction front, the company’s report presents a number of environmental impact highlights. In 2019, Pure Project saved 2,527 plastic trash bags by reusing grain bags, saved 35,000 sq. ft. of plastic wrap by utilizing giant rubber bands to keep their kegs on the pallets, and saved 180,000 gallons of water by recapturing and reusing the cooling water they use during brewing.
Pure Project’s 2019 Sustainability Report also discloses their annual donations. As a member of the 1% for the Planet network, Pure Project donated over $30,000 last year to environmental non-profit organizations including Plastic Bank, The Conservation Alliance, Protect Our Winters, Surfrider, San Diego Coastkeeper, and Outdoor Outreach.
Looking ahead, the company reveals their 10-year Sustainability Goals. By the end of 2030 it is their goal to become Plastic Regenerative and Carbon Regenerative, maintain zero-waste facilities, remove over 1,000,000 lbs. of ocean-bound plastic, plant over 150,000 trees, donate over $1,000,000 to environmental organizations, and stimulate an additional $150,000 in donations to environmental organizations from their local community.
Clearly, business is about much more than beer for Pure Project. Robar says they hope this report will inspire other companies to take steps to reduce their impact, give back, and do what they can to protect this planet as well. “Let’s use beer as a force for good.”