It was recognised as the first carbon neutral brewery in 2018 and now, the craft beer haven in Darling in the Western Cape has become the first brewery to get it’s Green Stars.
This rating monitors performance over a year to ensure that the facility is, in fact, reducing its impact on the environment by carefully managing energy, water, and waste. It’s one thing to build a new green facility, and another mission entirely to ensure that the green goals are met through constant good management and monitoring.
“Amazing what a chain of effects this whole journey has been so far. It has been a real green evolution, and both we and the environment are far better off for it!” exclaims Darling Brew.
The brewer further explains that the challenge was great, but “it was an enlightening process that we implore any serious environmentally conscious businesses to undertake.”
“It saw us implement a smart metering system that enabled us to track important stats like water and energy usage, ventilation and recycling. This, in turn, helped us identify room for improvement in our production process. This now helped us to make significant shifts in our production planning and practices,” says the company, again proving that knowledge is power.
The even better news is that the brewery is committed to even more environmental improvement and is investigating the installation of more solar panels to provide renewable energy and heat water. The company also aims to replace the remaining incandescent or fluorescent lights with more energy efficient LEDs.
There are also interesting process-related innovations happening at the brewery, which recently launched their range of beer grain crisps, which are made from 40% spent grain from the beer making process. This goes some way to address food waste, which, as WWF SA recently reported, is a massive problem that needs to be addressed.
Some of the sustainability interventions made at Darling Brew to achieve the rating include:
- Rainwater harvesting from the roof is used in staff ablutions, some general brewery washing, and all irrigation demands
- Wasted process water from the brewing process is captured and reused for floor washing and other cleaning activities
- Ongoing recycling and food waste management
- Water efficient fittings in bathrooms
- Waterless urinals
- Sustainable procurement programme
- Use of up-cycled furniture and recycled wood in the brewery and Tasteroom area
- Solar water heating
- LED retrofit in restaurant
- Use of natural light in the brewery
- Advanced energy and water metering
- Mostly naturally ventilated
- High solar reflective index roof paint used and reflector foil on north-east facing windows to reduce solar heat gain
- Indigenous landscaping throughout the site