Asheville Greenworks presented Highland Brewing Company with the "Environmental Excellence Award" at its 15th Anniversary Party Friday, Jan. 22nd, 2010. Asheville Greenworks is an organization dedicated to creating a clean and green Buncombe County.
Highland Brewing works very hard to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible.
A few of its efforts include:
- Give spent grain, spent yeast, used hops and our filter media to a local farmer.
- Bulk grain, reducing packaging
- For specialty grains, they come in paper bags which are then recycled.
- We are creating our own Clean in Place system to recapture water and cleaning chemicals
- We use a Heat exchanger to reclaim heat from boiled wort and transfer it to hot water for next batch.
- Organically certified for 2 of our seasonal brands and expanding in future.
- When we moved to our new location we sold our old tanks, which were retrofitted dairy tanks, to a local biodiesel manufacturing company which used them in their processing. They take used vegetable oil and turn it into fuel.
- We reuse as much water as possible in packaging- Rinse water is channeled around to rinse the floor down.
- Six packs are made of a minimally processed board, unbleached, and more raw
- Mother cartons are made of mostly post consumer recycled board
- Moving our 12 pack to a kraft board, 100% recyclable, less processed package
- Eliminating waste in production
- New automated keg line saves water over our manual rinsing by reusing wash water.
- Chosen suppliers as close to the brewery as possible. Both Mother Cartons and 12 packs manufactured within an hour of the plant to reduce transportation emissions.
- Label Manufacturer is 10 minutes away and we save all packaging, boxes, roll cores, plastic bags, for reuse on our next run.
- We purchase most of our equipment used, refurbish it ourselves, and reusing the equipment that would potentially end up in the landfill.
- Our distribution has spread organically so we are not shipping beer all over the country.
- 65% of our business is in WNC
- Keg tracking system to use kegs as much as possible
- We use one day shipments in order to eliminate the need for refrigerated trucks.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service, local branch, “mountain top island” awareness linked with Seasonals- Mountain peaks, Cold Mt. Winter ale, we have hiked to the summit each year to gather water from the spring just before the peak
- River cleanups (2)
- Sponsoring of organizations (See sheet)
- Compostable Cups for tours
- Encourage draft-reducing waste by reusing kegs
- Ethos of reduce, reuse, recycle throughout company.
- We take advantage of programs from the state and the utility companies to provide energy audits, for natural gas, steam boilers, electricity etc.
- We have a great respect for the ingredients that go into our product as well, and they all come from having a sustainable, clean, and healthy environment.
- The main ingredients in beer are Barley/Hops/Water/and Yeast. All of which are natural ingredients that thrive in a healthy global environment.
- We have a small facility and maximize every square ft. using what we have to the fullest.
- We have a fabrication shop and save parts/metal/etc. to reduce waste and consumerism.
- We are in the process of evaluating our energy inputs, and other inputs, tracking them over time, in order to find new ways of conservation.
- We have talked with “green” manufacturing consultants for further help.
- We rehabbed an old warehouse building instead of building a new structure.
- We have a sewage pretreatment system to help alleviate the pressure put on to our MSD.
- We have a recycling program company wide, glass, containers, paper and cardboard.
- We are active in the “Local” movement, which involves us deeply in the community as well as environmental sustainability.
- We support “Field to table” concepts
- Red Cross
- Drink Local/Buy Local/
- Dynamite Roasting Co. USDA organic/fair trade certified (We buy coffee from Andy, former brewer)
- We have talked to BlueRidge Biofuels about using a byproduct of their process to fire our boilers
- Potentially using bio-diesel in our trucks.
- CO2 recovery system
- Changing Lighting, including windows and solar tubes.
- Stack condenser/heat exchanger
- Increased reduction in inputs-water-packaging-energy
- Compost system