Read the full story in Fast Company.
For every pint of beer produced by a brewery, seven pints of waste water are created. And it can’t just be washed down the drain—the waste requires extra cleaning first. But what if the gunk that comes out of that water could be used for something useful? Like, for making batteries? That’s exactly what a research team at University of Colorado Boulder is doing.
The process is simple in principal: Take brewery waste and use it to grow fibrous, mushroomy fungus, resulting in a “mycelia mat.” Then heat that mat to extreme temperatures, as if making charcoal. The resulting material can be used directly one of the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery, the kind of battery used by your smartphone or laptop.
Read the full story from Ceres.
As climate change, population growth and water pollution increase pressure on freshwater resources, seven global food and beverage companies today announced commitments to work with thousands of growers in their global supply chains to reduce water use and pollution impacts.
Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.
Plastic packaging is taking over the supermarket, enveloping almost every food product we buy. Environmental activists say the material is causing the planet huge environmental damage and that the chemical industry should do more to make packaging easier to recycle. Industry acknowledges a need to improve but says it is combating an even bigger environmental challenge, food waste. C&EN’s cover story this week looks at this contentious debate, including ways in which the two sides are edging closer together.
The Brewers Association (BA) has released the 2015 Sustainability Benchmarking Report. The report includes utility, resource and production data from 79 breweries, representing a robust variety of production sizes and geographic locations. This report provides a platform to share best practices to identify how to use water more efficiently, generate less wastewater and solid waste, decrease total energy usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Moving forward, data for this annual report will be collected through the Brewers Association Benchmarking Tools. Individual brewers can input their utility usage and compare their data to other participating breweries. Using the iEHS Mobile Metrics platform, brewers can enter target usage and cost values and track ongoing monthly performance. Breweries will be able to easily identify areas to improve efficiencies and increase profitability by utilizing the Sustainability Dashboard tool to compare themselves to industry averages of similar size breweries. Both tools are usable on a web browser or mobile device. These tools will increase the number of participants contributing benchmarking information, forming a clearer picture of industry practices. The information will then be organized, verified, analyzed and distributed though the annual Sustainability Benchmarking Report. Individual breweries will not be identified in the report.
Increasingly, environmental stewardship is a priority for beer drinkers, brewers and future generations. Maintaining a healthy balance between stewardship, social enrichment, and economic vitality is important to the future of craft brewing. BA members have expressed a desire to benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs) on a consistent basis in order to set aggressive, but realistic, goals and targets. Through the Sustainability Benchmarking Report and Sustainability Manuals, the BA and the sustainability subcommittee encourages conscientious brewing practices that will ensure the long-term success of the craft beer industry.
Read the full story at Environmental Leader.
Beer wastewater can be converted to materials needed to make energy storage cells — a development that researchers say could be a “win-win” for breweries and battery manufacturers.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
Solar energy, no sodium and organic fertiliser: how one of Australia’s biggest wineries is reducing waste while saving money and energy.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
A group of Dutch entrepreneurs has used their country’s wet weather as a business opportunity by creating a rainwater bitter.