We are a very small brewery, with an even smaller amount of emissions, but we are still mindful of every decision we make and how it relates to the environment. We’re continually looking for ways of reducing our waste, reducing our climate impact, and giving back to nature. Without a healthy planet, there would be no beer.
We are Canada’s very first certified Carbon Neutral brewery. With minimal carbon emitted, our carbon neutral certification shows that we have offset the remainder of emissions by planting local and native trees within Canada. And for 2020, we went above and beyond that by planting even more trees, technically making us carbon negative!
Here are some of the current initiatives and future goals we have planned at Half Hours on Earth.
- Tree Canada: Our carbon footprint is offset by Tree Canada's Grow Clean Air program which grows native trees in Canada.
- We are in partnership with One Percent for the Planet. One Percent for the Planet is an international organization whose members contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes. The mission is to build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.
- As part of our contribution, we have made donations to WWF Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Forests Ontario, Tree Canada & One Tree Planted to help make an impact on climate. These non-profit organizations are under the One Percent for the Planet members who are highly vetted to ensure that our donations make the most impact possible.
- Certified 100% Carbon Neutral. We are committed to offsetting our carbon footprint with Tree Canada's Grow Clean Air program.
- In addition to offsetting the carbon footprint of our brewery, for every order we ship through the mail, one tree is planted to help global reforestation efforts through One Tree Planted.
- We're making efforts to minimize all plastics used in the brewery. Our packaging materials for deliveries are completely recyclable (cardboard, packing paper, paper tape) and biodegradable (packing peanuts).
- We use recycled paper and cardboard wherever we can, and our debit/credit thermal rolls are eco-friendly and sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Our Building & Brewing:
- One of the larger carbon impacts when opening a brewery is the initial manufacturing of a shiny new stainless brewhouse. We opted to go a different route and stay within our means, stay small, work with what we have, and mostly finding what we could that was second hand.
- We have converted a large oak barrel for use as a mash tun, something that is typically stainless in most breweries. And most of the actual stainless in our brewery, are from old repurposed tanks once used in the maple syrup industry. These tanks date back as far as the late 80’s and early 90’s, and we’re giving them new life by using them mainly for our fruiting & fermentation tanks!
- No windows mean less heat wasted! Yes, it can be a bit dull without the sun shining in, but our lack of windows, and being a little underground, does help it stay nice and cozy in the colder months, and somewhat cooler in the summer months.
- Our styles of beer also help minimize the need for massive refrigeration systems (no glycol) typically required in most breweries. Therefore, using less energy, and less carbon. Most of our beers are sour or farmhouse-style, which have less need for temperature control during fermentation. Our little brewery only operates a few energy-efficient chest freezers as well as an energy-efficient a/c unit for keeping temps down with the occasional farmhouse lager.
- All of our spent grain is donated to a local farm!
- Thanks to the great company we lease our space from, they have installed new LED lights in our brewery, reducing the amount of electricity required.
- We accomplished one of our 2020 goals by replacing our old combustion engine vehicle with one that is all-electric! We now have a delivery vehicle that is zero emissions and will drastically reduce our carbon impact by delivering as much beer as we can ourselves, rather than through the mail or by courier.
- Our future goal is the most important to us, but at the moment, we are uncertain how long it will take to get there given our scale. Our future plans involve a fully solar-powered and sustainable brewery. Perhaps on a farm somewhere, perhaps not. But we’ll figure that out with time and progress. However, we will continue to offset any carbon used by planting trees. Slowly, we'll replace tree offsets with better efficiencies.
- More organic! We brewed our first beer with all organic ingredients, Advanced Drinker, and it's one of our favourite beers we've brewed to date. We're currently exploring the idea of a large shift to more organic ingredients in the future.