Established in 1980 with the mission to brew the highest quality beer with the least environmental impact possible, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been reducing waste and reusing materials in creative and thoughtful ways ever since. Sierra Nevada’s closed loop approach promotes a zero waste philosophy that extends beyond just solid waste, becoming a culture rather than a program. Sierra Nevada focuses on employee education, upstream management, and source separation to achieve their zero waste goals. Sierra Nevada currently diverts 98.9% of their total solid waste from landfill and has a robust training program that reaches every single employee. In 2016, Sierra Nevada saw a net savings of $392,295 (excluding spent brewers grain) from their zero waste program.
Sierra Nevada’s Mills River, North Carolina brewery partners with a local composter to divert organic material from landfill, utilizes the rail system to deliver malted barley to the brewery, recovers and reuses CO2 generated during the fermentation process, and continually works with packaging suppliers to reduce waste at every step of the process.