The drought that has been going on in California has been a major topic of environmental concern and strong measures are being taken to conserve water. Because of these new regulations being put in place, breweries all across California are having to take new measures to conserve water, but there is one brewery that stands out among all of the others in terms of their sustainable practices, including water conservation. The Stone Brewing Company out of Escondido, Southern California is leading the initiative to sustainable brewing, as well as business, practices in
California. It is one of the top 10 craft breweries in the United States, and have sustainability built into their business plan. The brewing company is setting the standard for sustainable practices in the industry involving energy use and, most importantly, water conservation.
Conserving the Water
Stone Brewing Co. has set the bar high in terms of water conservation in the brewing industry. According to Forbes, Stone Brewing Co uses “about 33 percent less water” than the average brewery, which utilizes about 5 to 6 pints of water to make 1 pint of beer. This is due to their state of the art, on-site wastewater treatment facility. This facility, which the company spent nearly $8,000,000 on in 2008 and another $850,000 this year, “eliminates the need to truck 40,000 gallons of wastewater to San Diego each month”. The brewing company’s ability to reduce their dependency on foreign water sources is something that other breweries should take into serious consideration in their own operations. Not only is their investment improving their own sustainability, but they are eventually going to start saving a tremendous amount of money due to the dramatic drop in water shipping costs. Not only will it eliminate their shipping costs, but it will cut out roughly 25,000 gallons of waste water daily from the Escondido Municipal treatment system. This feat is a great achievement in the brewing industry, and their plans for water conservation do not stop there. According to craftbrewingbusinees.com, Stone also hopes “to secure permits to use filtered recycled water for landscape irrigation”. The brewery is making serious efforts to reduce their ecological footprint.
Not only is the Stone Brewing Co. ahead of the game in water conservation, they are also ahead of the game in renewable energy production. They recently installed “a 1,561-panel solar system” at their facility, which cost $3.2 million to construct. The panels provide the facility with approximately 40% of its total power and is the main source of power for its water treatment facility. Stone Brewing Co reports that its solar panel system provides enough energy that “it could offset more than 583,000 pounds of carbon emissions over its lifetime or the equivalent of planting 200 acres of trees”. This achievement is an example of the sustainability that other breweries should begin to undertake. The benefits of undergoing such a project greatly outweigh the overall costs, and Stone is taking the initiative in becoming one of the most sustainable breweries in the world.
The Stone Brewing Company not only makes delicious beer, but it is one of the most environmentally sound breweries in the entire industry. It has set the standard for sustainable business and production processes, and is a model for sustainability in all industries. They are doing their part in reducing the drought in California, and reducing their effect on the environment.