Sustainability at Wiper and True
Working to become the most sustainable brewery possible
At Wiper and True we are constantly working to become the most sustainable brewery we possibly can.
It’s no secret that brewing uses a lot of energy and creates a significant amount of by-products. We want our overall impact on the planet to be a positive one, so in the day-to-day running of our business, we’re always focused on tackling the biggest environmental impacts that our brewery is making, whether that be our energy demand, efficiency savings, waste products or ingredient sourcing.
We hope that in talking transparently about where we are succeeding in our sustainability goals - as well as where we can make improvements - we will encourage other individuals and businesses to think about their impact on the planet, and what we can all do to lessen that impact. This feels particularly relevant as we work towards our new brewery and taproom in Old Market, Bristol - a project which represents a real opportunity to really embed sustainability into everything we do at Wiper and True.
Read on to discover what we’re already up at York Street, and some of our exciting plans for Old Market.
We need fermentation to create beer, and the two byproducts of fermentation are alcohol and carbon dioxide. At the moment, once that carbon dioxide is generated in our brewery, it's released straight into the atmosphere - and the same is true at the majority of breweries around the world. At our new site in Old Market we are bringing in carbon capture technology, that allows us to harvest and use all the CO2 that we generate in the brewing process. It will then be used to carbonate beer before packaging.
Our labels are printed on cornstarch, not plastic. This makes them much more expensive for us to buy, but we think it's worth it. To recycle, leave the label on the can and stick it out in your recycling bins as normal. During industrial recycling, the label acts as a fuel in the aluminum smelting process, serving a second function beyond its original use. One day, we'd love to work with printed cans, thus reducing the need for any label at all.
Spent Grain Feeds Cows
We're delighted to have found an additional use for our biggest brewing byproduct in the form of local farmer Will Weaver, and his cows. Every Friday Will and his dogs drive over to our brewery to transport a week's worth of spent grain (the term for used malt which we’ve extracted sugars from) to his farm, where it feeds his herd of cows. We have invested in a vastly more efficient brewkit for our new brewery, which will reduce the amount of malt required by 10%. In 2021, this would have equated to 10 tons of malt! We are also researching other uses for recycling our spent grain; into circular economy food products, or via aneorobic digestion to create CO2.
Sustainably Sourced Cardboard
It isn't glamorous, but cardboard boxes are a massive part of the brewing game. At Wiper and True we use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC Mix) certified cardboard boxes, with recyclable paper tape in place of plastic to seal these boxes. That means if you don't want to reuse the box your beer comes in, you can put it straight into the recycling bin, tape and all. On our side, we pay for a recycling company to come and take our all our brewery and warehouse recycling away each week. In our new site in Old Market, we are looking into technologies that will reduce cardboard usage by half. Watch this space!
Carbon Neutral by 2030
One of our biggest sustainability goals at Wiper and True is to line our business up with Bristol City Council’s target of reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, if not sooner. This is a huge project, but one that we see as integral to running a responsible business in today’s climate crisis. Watch this space for more updates as we work towards this ambitious but essential goal.
External, Expert Sustainability Partners
As we plan and build our new brewery site in Old Market, Bristol, we are working with a number of independent sustainability experts to develop a holistic sustainability action plan that considers all aspects of our environmental impact, including scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions. These partners will help verify and independently certify our progress.
Internal Sustainability Manager
At Wiper and True we have built a role specifically accountable for sustainability into our business. Joe became our Sustainability Manager in 2019, and has been building exciting & necessary sustainability measures into our business ever since. Our investment into sustainability will only continue to grow along with our business. We have loads of ideas for equipment, process and culture that we can't wait to share with you.
We are very excited to announce that we have just begun the process of applying for B-Corp status at Wiper and True. This strengthens our own commitment to carefully consider the impact of every decision we make as a business, by making it a legal requirement to think about our team members, our customers, our suppliers, our community and our planet at every turn. For us this is a really important step as we firmly believe that running a sustainable business doesn't just mean considering our impact upon the environment, but also ensuring that our relationship to our team, our customers, our suppliers and stockists is as positive as possible.
Solar Panels & Green Energy Tariffs
Since the beginning of Wiper and True, we have been powered by 100% renewable electricity. For the last two years, our tariff has also included carbon offset natural gas and a green gas. Our new building in Old Market comes with a lot of roof space, which we are filling with solar panels, via a 39kW array. This is a vital addition to reducing our overall green house gas emmissions, so we are very excited to install this technology and start using the sun's energy!
Brewers' Climate Forum
As a business we feel that to generate positive change for the climate in our industry, we need to have conversations with other breweries. With that in mind, Wiper and True have instigated the Brewer Climate Forum to take place during COP26, inviting other Bristol breweries to discuss our main challenges, and their solutions. Key to this forum is also sharing our successes and failures, as we firmly feel that sharing this knowledge will help us all deliver meaningful results. We believe we have strength in numbers and so in the future hope to extend this forum to a wider net of breweries from outside of Bristol.
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