Brewery achieves 99.7 per cent waste diversion

 In Business

Ed Miziolek, head of operations at Creemore Springs Brewery, says the team is always looking for ways to reduce its environmental footprint, identify efficiencies, and save money without compromising on quality.

“We have a responsibility to be good corporate citizens and contribute to sustainability efforts,” said Miziolek.

The local efforts fit with Molson Coors goal that all packaging be 100 per cent recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. Creemore Springs Brewery has already switched to compostable rings, has committed to plastic-free events and uses paper products made with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified products.

Part of that commitment to sustainability is in dedicating staff to green initiatives and engaging employees who are on the front lines of beer production.

Brewery engineer Emily Mejia is focussing on reducing waste at the brewery, along with water consumption and overall utility use, however, she says, sustainability has been a priority at Creemore Springs Brewery for quite a while.

Thanks to the efforts of its Green Team, Creemore Springs won the Integrated Energy Efficiency Strategy award at the 2018 Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation Energy Summit for achieved reductions of 12.1 per cent in natural gas, 9.5 per cent in water and 9.2 per cent in electricity consumption.

Conservation and waste reduction efforts have been carefully tracked since 2016.

In 2022, the brewery successfully diverted 99.7 per cent of all waste away from landfill. Staff recently collated data to find that 7,000 kg of waste was recycled via traditional recycling program, 120 kg was recycled

via custom recycling programs for personal protective equipment and snack wrappers, 1,310 kg of used batteries and scrap metal was recycled, 240 kg of compost was collected and 2,248 kg of aluminum cans was sold to the local scrapyard for $3,203, easily packaged and shipped from a can baler installed last year for that purpose.

Another 4,140 metric tons of spent grain and yeast was sold to local farmers for animal feed, equivalent to approximately 830 metric tons of dry-feed. Assuming the average dairy cow eats 25 kg of dry-feed per day, that could feed 91 cows for a year.

Miziolek explains that after the sugars have been extracted there is still nutritional value in the barley so it is sold to a supplier for farm distribution.

He said it is just one example of how staff looks to build partnerships.

Mejia said other efforts are being made to divert the hard-to-recycle materials like the bags that the packaging for specialty hops used in small batch brews. The desire to find a way to reduce packaging has led to the decision to have two small silos installed, facilitating bulk shipments.

The brewery also reports success in its water conservation efforts, saving one million litres of water per year.

“This is notable given the introduction of new brands and increased product volume in our supply chain. We take pride in maintaining stable water consumption despite changes in production,” said Miziolek.

Water consumption was significantly minimized by optimizing bottle and can rinsing, as well as reducing the rinsing of the brew house vessels. Other initiatives included beer recipe optimization, beer filtration improvements, steam system insulation, automated boiler blowdown and LED lighting retrofits. Suggestions from employees, many that were easy to implement, also helped drive improvements.

Trina Berlo photo: Creemore Springs Brewery head of operations Ed Miziolek and brewery engineer Emily Mejia with some of the specialty hop packaging they are trying to eliminate by installing silos.

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