Western Australia-based beer producer, Rocky Ridge Brewery Co. (RRBC), won the Promoting Sustainability award for WA in the recent Telstra Best of Business Awards 2022.
The award is a recognition of the company’s dedication to strive for a sustainable future by consciously choosing renewable energy, water reuse, and industry best practice.
Green pathway to zero carbon emissions
The company is well on the pathway to zero carbon emissions by 2023 by implementing green initiatives, including off-grid power, water usage reduction, packaging, greener pastures, and business sustainability.
As of 2020, RRBC’s entire supply chain, from raw ingredient procurement, through production and packaging, taphouse, as well as any staff travel associated with RRBC’s business, is fully carbon neutral through carbon offsetting with Carbon Neutral Australia.
“Over time, our simple ideology of ‘everything we brew, we grow’ has evolved, but our desire to push the boundaries of sustainability in our industry has not wavered. Moving forward, we are, and will continue to strive to be at the forefront of the development of our industry,” said Hamish Coates, General Manager and Founder.
RRBC operates completely off-grid for power, relying on solar and battery technology. The brewery has over 150 kWh of battery storage sufficient to run around 40 average houses daily.
In terms of water usage reduction, RRBC has reduced in-house water usage down to four litres for every litre of beer produced, lower than the industry average that is over seven litres, and aims to reach 2.5 litres per litre by 2023 through biological processes to upcycle treated wastewater.
“This involves on site bioreactors that consume CO2 from our manufacturing to grow algae, a valuable food source for our farm. We hope to take this further in 2022 and develop on site hydrogen generation from wastewater, which would give us better access to power generation and heating, fueling further green development on site” he added.
To tackle waste issues, RRBC uses packaging that is as environmentally sustainable as possible: cartons are made from 100% sustainably sourced cardboard, the four pack holders are made from sugar cane pulp and are 100% biodegradable, and they choose cans over glass bottles as aluminum is 100% recyclable and lighter for transportation, taking up 40% less space and releases less than half of the CO2 emissions during transportation.
RRBC also uses spent grain to feed the animals on-site at the farm, adding nutritional value and reducing waste to landfills. Yeast and hops similarly are fed onsite as feed supplements.
While encompassing those initiatives, the brewery pushes further through their Greener Pastures Program that is focused on revegetation and increasing biodiversity of existing remnant bushland, as well as promoting soil health and regenerative farming practices. RRBC discarded artificial fertiliser and spray use in 2018 and has seen a significant increase in soil microbial activity that has allowed for better water holding, higher nutrient availability, improved crop yields and greater crop diversity through mixed cropping.
Also under the Greener Pasture initiative, sustainability for RRBC is not just about the environment, it includes the farm, community, and industry. The brewery is committed to contributing 10% of its net profits to community and charitable causes.
RRBC will be competing with six other state winners at the Promoting Sustainability Award at the Telstra Business Awards National Gala Event. The awards were created to provide small and medium-sized businesses a platform to celebrate achievements and stories with their peers, and opportunities to learn from Australia’s best business minds.
For more information, visit www.rockyridgebrewing.com.au.