BrewDog is Now Carbon Negative

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BrewDog is Now Carbon Negative

BrewDog is Now Carbon Negative
August 26
09:21 2020
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Scottish craft brewer BrewDog has announced that it has taken the unprecedented step to become carbon negative, and that it will remove twice as much carbon from the air than it emits every single year – making it the first carbon negative international beer brand in the world. The move is founded in its belief that carbon neutral is no longer enough, and that businesses should be having a positive impact on the planet. To this end, BrewDog is unveiling a climate action program with £30 million of green investments across its business.

As part of these efforts it has also purchased 2,050 acres of Scottish Highlands just north of Loch Lomond, to create the BrewDog Forest, and plans to plant one million trees over the next few years.

David Robertson, Director, Scottish Woodlands, says: “Woodland creation of this scale is at the forefront of the fight to sequester atmospheric carbon in the UK and the BrewDog Forest will be one of the largest native woodlands created in the UK for many years.”

BrewDog will create1,400 of broad leaf native woodlands, and 650 acres of peatland restoration in accordance with the Woodland Carbon code the Peatland code. 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. Professor 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 £30 million 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 organisation 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.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, comments: “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. 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.”

Mike Berners Lee, Founder of Small World Consulting, continues: “After decades of inaction we have a full-on climate crisis on our hands. The scale and speed of the change we now need is enormous, and cuts right across politics, business and every corner of society. The good news is that if we are smart about our transition, we can make our lives better at the same time as making them more sustainable. With the actions laid out in this report, BrewDog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs. 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.
  • BrewDog turns its spent grain into green gas which powers its brewery.
  • BrewDog is building an on site anaerobic digestor to turn waste water into clean water and produce food grade C02 to carbonate its beers.
  • BrewDog is investing in the electrification of its vehicle fleet.
  • Through investing in local brewing sites across the UK, EU, USA and Australia it has significantly reduced the miles its beer is travelling to reach the consumer.

James Watt says: “The scientific consensus is clear: we are sleep walking off the edge of a cliff. Unless the world confronts the urgent carbon problem, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic. Governments have proved completely inept in the face of this crisis. The change our world and society needs, has to come from progressive business and we want to play our role and nail our colours to the mast.”


BrewDog founders James Watt and and Martin Dickie.

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