Keeping it Green
Once we built the best foundation we could afford, it was time to do what really got us in to this business: sharing a pint and a meal with our good friends! For better or worse, our job isn’t as simple as it might sound, instead we focus on four critical aspects that we must get right in order to be successful:
1. Beer – Yes, getting the beer right is our first priority, and we work hard to produce world class beer for our pubs and customers around the region.
2. Food – A great beer deserves a great meal and both restaurants work hard to provide just that from scratch-made, locally-sourced, organic and natural ingredients.
3. Service – We think it is important to treat our guests the way we would like to be treated and that means classy service with a smile.
4. Environment – We aim to provide a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere that makes it easy to sit back and knock down a few pints and a burger.
Infused in all of those concepts is our devotion to providing a “thoughtful alternative as sustainably as possible.” As Hopworks matures in our approach to sustainability, we hope to continue to push ourselves to reduce our impact. In order to know how successful we have been, we have carefully measured all of our inputs to set a baseline as well as to set meaningful goals for future performance. Here are a few of the categories in which we have found success, and some of the metrics we track:
As you might guess, water is incredibly important to quality beer. We take great pains to minimize our water footprint, as well as to ensure that Portland’s great water system will exist for the long-term.
- In 2012 the brewery consumed 4.23 gallons of water for every gallon of beer we produced – the norm for breweries our size is closer to 8 gallons!
- Low-flow toilets, faucets and dish-washing machinery
- Catch and store 1,100 gallons of rainfall for dry season irrigation and outdoor cleaning
- Use pervious pavers on 6,000 square-foot upper parking lot, lower parking lot run-off infiltrates to groundwater through a 5,000 gallon retention pond
Most modern manufacturing plants require a lot of energy – and brewing beer is no different. We’ve taken every opportunity to find the most efficient option for our ongoing operations.
- High-efficiency chiller for brewery operations
- Zone AC units for restaurant spaces for right-sized cooling needs
- LED, Fluorescent lighting; ENERGY STAR appliances including hand dryers in bathrooms
- Purchase 100% renewable “Clean Wind” energy for the brewery through PGE
- We are continually striving to cut our landfill to zero. We’re proud of our progress, but we still have a ways to go.
- Each year, we send nearly 700 tons of spent brewing grain to a dairy farmer in the Willamette Valley for cattle feed
- Not counting that spent grain, we recycle or compost 89% of our waste, with only 11% going to landfill
- Work with local companies such as St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Network, Organic Valley Coop and Dragonfly Chai to have usable food distributed and materials reused
While transportation accounts for a small portion of our overall footprint (BUY LOCAL!), we still do what we can to shrink it further, and encourage our employees to do the same on their way to work.
- More than 2/3 of all commutes to work are by bicycle, walking, public transportation, or carpool
- Offer quarterly raffle for employees that use “active transportation”
- Minimize trips between Hopworks Brewpub and BikeBar, ensuring full return trips with each delivery
Our kitchen has the same ethos as our brewery, to serve up world-class food, sustainably. We do our best to source from local, environmentally conscious growers and producers whenever we can.
- All our burgers made from Painted Hills Natural Beef, from Oregon’s Wheeler County
- Organic, Fair Trade “Holler Mountain Blend” from Portland’s own Stumptown Coffee (some even makes it into our 7 Grain Stout)
- Food Alliance Certified Shepherd’s Grain flour used for our breads, pizza and pretzel dough
- 100% Recycled Napkins, Compostable take-out containers, plus strong policies to minimize and sort waste in the kitchen
- And, because our employees deserve good food too, we offer meals with each shift
Even our best efforts can’t completely erase our footprint (YET!) To offset our impact, we purchase both carbon and water offsets:
- We purchase offsets from Bonneville Environmental Foundation for 2.5 million gallons of water, more than our annual consumption at both restaurants and the brewery.
- Our “cradle to gate” carbon footprint for 2011 was 855.57 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents. We fully offset this footprint with Carbon Offsets from ClearSky Climate Solutions.
While we push the envelope at work every day, we also spend some of our free time and energy helping our where we can. Click here to learn what me mean by “Do What You Can”.
As we grow, we look for ways to use less, reuse more, and be better stewards of the environment. We hope you will continue to tag along for the ride!
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