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 99.7% of their total solid waste from landfill and has a robust training program that reaches every single employee.
Sierra Nevada’s Chico, California brewery is home to the first HotRot in-vessel composting system in the United States, composting all food waste from breakrooms and onsite restaurant into a nutrient rich amendment for onsite agriculture. They are also recovering and reusing CO2 generated during the fermentation process, utilizing the rail system to bring malted barley to the brewery, and continually working with packaging suppliers to cut waste in all steps of the process. Chico also has an extensive reuse program that ensures everything from 1lb propane containers to cardboard boxes to pallets gets reused before recycling!
In 2022, Chico saw a net savings of roughly $163,000 (excluding spent brewers grain) from their zero waste program.
Learn more about Sierra Nevada's approach to low-impact brewing.