The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) announced today that it’s awarding Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with the platinum zero waste certification plaque for its achievement in successfully diverting 99.8 percent of its waste from landfill, incineration and the environment. This is the first platinum certification that the USZWBC has given and the highest level possible. USZWBC audited the Zero Waste diversion processes at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Calif. and found that the facility is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting at an unprecedented rate.

“Resource conservation is important to me and I’ve always felt it’s the right way to do business,” said Ken Grossman, owner and founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Everyone at Sierra Nevada participates in our Zero Waste efforts and takes pride in what we do. It is an honor to be recognized as a Platinum Zero Waste Business by the US Zero Waste Business Council. Although we have built a great Zero Waste program, we will continue to look for ways to improve.”

To date, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Chico facility has excelled in the following areas:
Commitment to Zero Waste by reaching 99.8 percent diversion from landfill, incineration and the environment
$5,398,470 avoided disposal costs, and $903,308 in revenue (2012) – both of these include spent brewers grain, which makes up the bulk of what it diverts
51,414 tons diverted from landfill and incineration
11,812 tons of CO2e greenhouse gases avoided
Shipping pallets are rebuilt locally;
Employees are given an insulated Klean Kanteen and a ChicoBag® on their first day to help them get into the habit of reuse;
Single sided paper is collected and turned into notepads for employees;
The same boxes in which bottle caps are delivered are saved and reused to ship t-shirts.
Given the lack of regional composting facilities, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was the first in the US to install a HotRot composter to compost its organic waste. This system composted 261 tons of organics in 2012 that otherwise would have gone to the landfill.

These achievements were accomplished by employees and leadership from their sustainability team: Cheri Chastain and Mandi McKay.

Read more…

Launched in spring 2012 and headquartered in Corona Del Mar, Calif., the USZWBC’s mission is to educate, inform and document the performance of Zero Waste Businesses using scientific methods to help them and their communities become more healthy and sustainable. The USZWC will be hosting its third annual National Zero Waste Business Conference on May 7 and 9 in Atlanta, Ga. To register for the conference, go to www.uszwbc.org.