BrewDog and pub partners pledge 15% carbon cut in the next year

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Monumental change: 'We are the world’s only carbon negative brewery, but we also want to be the catalyst for wider change, that’s why we have introduced Planet First Locals,' BrewDog's James Watt explained
Monumental change: 'We are the world’s only carbon negative brewery, but we also want to be the catalyst for wider change, that’s why we have introduced Planet First Locals,' BrewDog's James Watt explained

Related tags: Scotland, Brewdog, Environment, Carbon dioxide, Carbon footprint, Beer, Pubco + head office, Brewhouse and Kitchen

Independent brewer and bar operator BrewDog has joined forces with hospitality businesses including Brewhouse & Kitchen, Urban Village Pubs and Pub Love to work towards a carbon neutral on-trade.

The beer maker, which declared itself carbon negative in August 2020 before scooping the Best Sustainable Pub Company gong at the 2021 Publican Awards​, has welcomed its first partners to the Planet First Locals collective – each of whom have pledged to reduce carbon emissions by at least 15% over the next 12 months.

The collective now comprises Gleneagles, Edinburgh’s Contini Group, Brewhouse and Kitchen, High Spirits Leisure, Picture House Cinemas, Pub Love, Market Halls, Barras Art & Design in Glasgow and Urban Village Pubs.

This follows the announcement of the initiative by BrewDog co-founder James Watt in April and will see the business remove all emissions created by the collective. 

The move also comes after two initiatives supported by Coca-Cola European Partners, Net Zero Now and the Sustainable Restaurant Association launched across the UK on-trade in late April​ in an effort to dissect what “net zero” means for operators, offer guidance on how they can assess and reduce carbon their emissions and set a standard against which progress can be measured.

Implementing carbon reduction plans

After fundamentally changing its operations to cut its emissions and become carbon negative,​ BrewDog set out to bring customers on the same journey through Planet First Locals. The opportunity is open to any hospitality venue that pours two or more BrewDog beers on draft. 

Supported by third-party partner, Small World Consulting, BrewDog will help estimate a venue’s carbon footprint before implementing a carbon reduction plan. 

For any small business partner that takes the pledge, BrewDog will remove all remaining calculated emissions from the atmosphere via its Lost Forest and Dark Forest Projects.

What’s more, BrewDog has offered to supplying point of sale material, enabling venues – which will also feature on the brewer’s website as part of the newly created planet-friendly pub-finder – to promote themselves as carbon neutral.

James Watt

‘Catalyst for wider change’ 

Discussing the collective’s progress, BrewDog's Watt, explained that in the face of a climate crisis, “monumental change” needs to happen now, and industry needs to be that driving force.

“We are the world’s only carbon negative brewery, but we also want to be the catalyst for wider change, that’s why we have introduced Planet First Locals – to help our customers reduce their impact on the planet and become part of the solution,” he explained. “By encouraging them to make small changes and working in partnership to offset all their calculated carbon emissions, we aim to give people more planet-friendly places to hang out”. 

Commenting on its involvement, Pub Love founder Ben Stackhouse, added: “We’ve worked closely with BrewDog for a while and always been impressed by the brand’s tenacity and love of craft beer.  

“Over the past year we’ve watched with interest as that commitment has turned to our planet. Not only is it doing all it can to improve the sustainability of its business, making craft beer a force for good, but also encouraging and helping customers like us to consider the changes we need to make. 

“As a small group of hostel-pubs we have been trying to limit our impact on the environment and launched our own planet-positive happy hour in April this year,” he added. “With the support of BrewDog to not only further develop our plan for change, but also offset our outstanding carbon emissions, we hope to become carbon neutral within the next year.  

“It’s a unique and important initiative and I’d encourage any pub group or independent publican to get involved.”

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