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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Craft Brewers Dramatically Reducing Carbon Emissions by Sharing Kegs

By sharing a pool of kegs rather than owning their own, over 200 leading craft brewers have helped reduce their collective carbon footprint by over 3 million kg of CO2e in 2013. These findings, based on a study by John Heckman, Ph.D with PE International and commissioned by MicroStar Logistics, will be used as a benchmark to help the craft beer industry further minimize its carbon footprint each year.

"Sustainability is critically important to our customers and the craft beer industry overall," said Dan Vorlage, MicroStar's VP of Marketing and Business Development. "We're proud to help brewers achieve their sustainability goals by leveraging our unique model, our scale and our logistics expertise to take empty keg miles off the road. We see these results as just the beginning of what this industry can accomplish."

"To put this in perspective, these craft brewers saved the equivalent amount of CO2e emitted by nearly 3 million pounds of coal by working together to reduce their total truck mileage," Dr. Heckman said. "It's clear that MicroStar's pooled asset model is inherently more sustainable than the alternative model of a brewer owning their own kegs.

“More importantly, getting to know the team at MicroStar, we can see that they are personally committed to continuous improvement and working closely with the brewer community to have an even greater positive impact in the future."

MicroStar also recently joined the EPA's SmartWay® Program committing to further track and reduce transportation-related emissions and fuel use. Through programs such as SmartWay®, MicroStar uses the collective leverage of their customer community to increase the adoption of environmentally conscious tools and approaches by their freight carriers.

Breweries around the world are using a variety of innovative approaches to measure and reduce their carbon emissions:

  • The Hofmühl Brewery in Eichstätt, Bavaria is using a combination of solar and bioenergy to not only supplement its energy supply, but making it completely self-sufficient;
  • Last November, UK brewery Adnams became the first brewer to measure the carbon footprint of its entire range of bottled beers — the company estimated that production of one bottle is equivalent to traveling 5.3 miles by train.
  • And in January, Sonoma County-based Bear Republic Brewing Company unveiled an EcoVolt water treatment system at Bear Republic’s brewery in Cloverdale, which uses bioelectric technology to treat wastewater and generate biogas. Bear Republic says the system will cut its water treatment costs, generate clean water and energy for use onsite, and significantly reduce its CO2 emissions.

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