Asia Brewers Network

Brewdog Forest to promote climate action in brewing industry

25th August 2020

Scottish craft brewer Brewdog has announced it will plant a 2,000+ acre forest as part of its plans to become more carbon negative.

The Ellon based brewer recently declared themselves to be the world’s first carbon negative brewer, removing twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as they emit each year.

After meeting with and listening to the world renowned natural historian David Attenborough Brewdog owners James Watt and Martin Dickie decided they were not doing enough as a business and wanted to make Brewdog a catalyst for change in the brewing industry and beyond.

So the Ellon based organisation have engaged the help of Professor Mike Berners-Lee, one of the world’s leading experts in carbon foot-printing and sustainability, to map out a journey of transformation across their entire Brewdog business.

“Change in business isn’t happening fast enough. We need to make things happen right in everything we do. Brewdog is all in to make earth great again. Fast” James Watt & Martin Dickie (Founders, Brewdog)

To this end Brewdog have unveiled a £30m (USD $39m) climate action programme of investments into green infrastructure to support the business in reducing carbon emissions, in particular while they plant the new forest.

Professor Berners-Lee has led the process of calculating BrewDog’s carbon footprint and been pivotal in the design of its carbon removal plan as well as the way forward.
The Brewdog Forest is part of this journey. Situated in the Scottish Highlands just north of Loch Lomond, Brewdog aim to plant a million trees over the next three years as well as restore natural peatlands, a type of ecosystem that is particularly effective at storing carbon.

In order to double remove all of its carbon until it is able to begin planting the BrewDog Forest, the brewer will be working with offset partners on a series of projects. Each organisation has the highest standard of accreditation and has been additionally vetted by Berners-Lee and his team with each project deemed beneficial to biodiversity and local communities.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog commented, “Our Carbon. Our Problem. So, we are going to fix it ourselves. Huge change is needed right now, and we want to be a catalyst for that change in our industry and beyond.

We fully acknowledge that we are a long way from perfect. However, we are determined to rapidly and fundamentally change everything as we work hard to ensure we have a positive impact on the planet.”

Mike Berners Lee, Founder of Small World Consulting continued, “After decades of inaction we have a full-on climate crisis on our hands. The scale and speed of the change we now need is enormous, and cuts right across politics, business and every corner of society.

The good news is that if we are smart about our transition, we can make our lives better at the same time as making them more sustainable. With the actions laid out in this report, BrewDog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs.

They are raising the bar for the business world, both in their strong carbon cutting action and their straight talking. BrewDog beer can represent another small nudge for a better world.”

Under the Brewdog Tomorrow plan BrewDog will create 1,400 acres of broadleaf native woodlands, and 650 acres of peatland restoration in accordance with the Woodland Carbon code the Peatland code.

As well as sequesting carbon, woodland creation also promotes bio- diversity, natural flood attenuation and drives rural economic development. Work is expected to start on the BrewDog Forest in early 2021.

The brewer also plans to create a sustainable campsite on the land, that will host sustainability retreats and workshops for the general public, in addition to inviting its 130,000 Equity Punks investors to help with tree planting from early 2021.

James Watt, BrewDog CEO: “The scientific consensus is clear: we are sleepwalking off the edge of a cliff. Unless the world confronts the urgent carbon problem, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic. There has been too much bullshit for too long. Governments have proved completely inept in the face of this crisis. The change our world and society needs, has to come from progressive business and we want to play our role and nail our colours to the mast.”

Article by:

Charles Guerrier

Charles Guerrier

Charles founded SEA Brew in 2015 and is now responsible for the running of the Asia Brewers Network and associated activities. He travels extensively throughout the region putting his Beer Sommelier accreditation to good use.

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