Darling Brew first carbon-neutral brewery in Africa

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The sleepy town of Darling in the Western Cape is home to Africa’s first carbon-neutral brewery, Darling Brew. Established in 2010, the craft beer brand has grown rapidly. Darling Brew produced their first carbon-neutral beer, called Blood Serpent, in 2016.

Since being declared carbon-neutral, the brewery is expected to offset around 688 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the next year of production alone. These carbon emissions are measured by specialised equipment developed by American environmental sustainability company imapctChoice.

A greenhouse gas audit was used to calculate Darling Brew’s carbon footprint, which helped them to produce their first line of Blood Serpent. This craft beer was the innovative product that paved the way for sustainability and decarbonisation at Darling Brew and some of Africa’s other breweries.

Sustainability a key cause

Darling brew has always been committed to sustainability. Their beers are creatively named after endangered animals in a bid to highlight the need for conservation in Africa (their flagship brew was named “Slow Beer” after the highly endangered geometric tortoise).

Blood Serpent is named after the secretary bird and besides being Africa’s first carbon-neutral beer, it is also South Africa’s first dry hopped lager. The brewery works with many NGOs in southern Africa, such as the Kariba REDD+ Project in Zimbabwe which aims to preserve forests and wildlife.

Darling brew has also teamed up with Ecolution Consulting who will guide the brewery through the carbon offsetting process - helping them to reduce their water and energy consumption, and their waste-to-landfill outputs as well.

“It’s not about doing what we like with our operations and just offsetting our impact,” says Darling Brew owner and founder Kevin Wood. “It’s about our commitment to continuously reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible whilst using the offsetting process as a way of further redressing our impact,” he says.

Leading the way for responsible production

Darling Brew proudly displays their sustainability goals and history in the tasting room and restaurant area. They share statistics around their water and energy consumption, as well as their carbon and waste outputs, in well-designed infographics on the walls. This transparency shows their commitment to responsible production.

The plight of the Western Cape’s water situation has also led Darling Brew to install water-efficient equipment and waterless loos. They also run food recycling projects and make use of upcycled furniture in their tasting room.

The carbon offsetting process

The standard measurement for our impact on the environment is measured in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. This yardstick refers to the volume of greenhouse gases that are produced and released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.

The technology that impactChoice uses at the brewery enables Darling Brew to apportion their emissions from the brewing process. These are then cancelled through the purchase of certified Carbon Credits (permits that allow the owner to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide).

The financial benefits from these Carbon Credit purchases are then donated by Darling Brew to their NGO partners. The carbon offsets at the brewery are validated by the Verified Carbon Standard, the Gold Standard and the Plan Vivo.


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Author: Seeff

Submitted 25 May 18 / Views 695