Our ultimate goal at GP has always been to build a business where we don’t just brew beer, but also look after our employees, engage with the community, throw our support behind people trying to do cool things, and try to minimise our environmental impact.
The brewing industry has a significant impact on the environment for several reasons: as a manufacturing process it requires considerable use of natural resources like water and energy; the transport of raw materials and finished goods presents a challenge for finding efficiencies and opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint; waste is produced throughout the brewing process and at the end of our product’s use.
We like to view sustainability at Garage Project as three pillars - Community, People, and the Environment.
We provide ongoing support for a wide range of local causes and organisations, both in NZ and Australia. We’re proud to support the SPCA, Kaibosh Food Rescue, Sustainable Business Network, the Wellington NZ Fringe Festival, OzHarvest, and many more.
This support can be provided through donations, fundraising kegs, collaboration brews, or direct volunteering from our team.
Water is a vital part of brewing, so getting behind the Million Metres Streams Project waterway restoration planting at Baring Head / Wainuiomata Stream was an easy call to make. We help to fund their planting, and the annual GP planting day has become a popular fixture on our team calendar.
None of this would have been possible without our Garagistas. We have introduced a range of initiatives to support the well-being of our crew and the sustainability of our team.
Early on, we recognised the importance of doing business in a sustainable way and appointed our first Sustainability Officer in 2016 to help our team bring ‘green ideas’ to life - sustainability is now a part of our culture and the way we work.
We are part of the Sustainable Business Network and regularly work with the Sustainability Trust to help us further develop our initiatives and ideas.
Socially-conscious ideas are encouraged, and our crew are often involved in volunteering opportunities such as Kaibosh or Eat my Lunch. Our annual tree planting day with Million Metres Streams is a team highlight.
To promote health & wellbeing and reduce carbon emissions, Garagistas are encouraged to bike to work if possible. To support this, Garage Project makes a $300 contribution towards the purchase of a bike or electric scooter.
We’re also immensely proud to have achieved accreditation as a Living Wage employer at the end of 2019, helping to ensure economic sustainability for our crew.
Garage Project has achieved Zero Carbon Business Operations Certification for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years through Ekos. This means Garage Project’s carbon emissions from business operations are 100% offset through the purchase of certified carbon credits from native reforestation and protection projects.
100% of our 2020 calendar year emissions were offset by supporting projects in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. 60% was offset by supporting the NIHT Topaiyo REDD+Project in New Ireland Papua New Guinea, the remaining 40% was offset by supporting the Kānuka Hill - Uruwhenua Native Regeneration Project in Golden Bay and the Rarakau Rainforest Conservation Project in Southland.
Garage Project’s emission and offset summaries are available here:
2019 summary here.
2020 summary here.
The next stage of our focus for 2021 and beyond is to work on reducing these emissions as much as possible.
Since 2017 Garage Project has only used electricity from renewable suppliers. We recently celebrated Meridian Energy’s new certified renewable energy mark with the launch of Turbine IPA, inspired by Wellington’s iconic Brooklyn Wind Turbine.
We work hard to minimise waste at our sites, with bins for organic waste to be turned into compost, e-waste for recycling, shrink pallet wrap, as well as standard recycling facilities. We have switched almost all of our suppliers onto returnable pallets, and in 2019 we reduced our waste to landfill by 30% at our original Aro Street brewery.
For centuries brewers have given spent grain to farmers to use as feed, and we gladly carry on this tradition by sending all of our spent grain to local cattle and pig farmers.
Last year we completed a new grain store and mill at our original Aro Street brewery. This allows us to receive most of our malt in recyclable 1-tonne polypropylene bulk bags, removing most of the previous disposable 25kg sacks from the process.
We have set up cleaning product refill stations for our Wellington offices and venues to avoid empty container waste from our core cleaning supplies.
This is all part of a long journey, one that is not just important but necessary.
Get in touch if you have any questions about sustainability, and how sustainable practice could be implemented at your brewery.