by C.T. ZEN
Fort Collins is home to some of the best breweries in the world. Fort Collins’ own New Belgium, is one of the oldest and first microbreweries to make their mark nationally.
Many others have followed suit. Pateros Creek, CooperSmith’s, Equinox, Fort Collins Brewery, Odell Brewery, Black Bottle Brewery, C.B. & Potts and Funkwerks number among these. Most are involved in our community, being part of events like our recent FOCOMX, some even sponsoring their own. The Activist is primarily focused, however, on their sustainability and working environments. Although we have a number of outstanding breweries here, some stand above the crowd in sustainability and work environment practices. Many have won national awards.
New Belgium was honored in 2014 by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) for their production of high quality, non GMO craft beer, standing up for clean water in Fort Collins and being employee owned. The ASBC annually recognizes exemplary leadership and sustainable businesses.
In 2008, Outside Magazine voted New Belgium the best place to work because of their efforts to ensure the wellness of their employees. New Belgium has committed to solar, having 1196 solar panels, and is constantly working to reduce their water use.
Fort Collins Brewery and CooperSmith’s are members of Climate Wise and CooperSmith’s was audited to find ways to save energy and water. CooperSmith’s modified and replaced equipment where possible to reduce their use, putting their money towards more efficient hot water heaters and boilers. FCB uses a centrifuge system, eliminating 6,000 lbs of waste per year. CooperSmith’s, FBC and Odell use spent grain from the breweries as cattle feed.
In the cans versus bottle debate, research shows that neither is better as far as environmental impact goes, nor is either truly sustainable. Both have a net negative impact on the environment. CooperSmith’s sidestepped this issue altogether by using neither cans nor bottles. You take their beer home in environmentally friendly reusable glass and stainless steel growlers.
New Belgium’s 100% Employee Stock Ownership Program, and open book management business model, makes for joyful coworkers committed to having the very best company possible.
Because of Fort Collins’ local breweries, their commitment to the environment and employee well-being, our City again shines as one of the best places to live in the country. Beer, bikes and a healthy lifestyle are what Fort Collins is all about.
by C.T. ZEN