4 Pines Brewing Company has been deemed one of the ‘Best for the World B Corps’ of 2022, the fourth occasion it has made the list. The Shout spoke to Sarah Turner, ‘Captain Planet’ and Environmental & Social Impact Advisor about the brewery’s wider approach to sustainability.
Like all drinks producers, 4 Pines is dependent on a sustainable and resilient environment to provide high quality ingredients to make its products.
“The environment is especially important to us as we rely on water to brew our beer and soil to grow our hops and malt,” Turner says.
“As a company with a manufacturing arm, we understand that we have a significant impact on the environment and are always finding new ways to be water, energy, and resource efficient. We take our roles as stewards of Earth very seriously.”
4 Pines has demonstrated its commitment to environmental and sustainable causes through the membership of third-party organisations with rigorous accreditation processes.
The brewery is a member of ‘1 % For The Planet’ (an organisation that sees business members donating at least one per cent of their annual sales to approved environmental non-profits), and is a certified B Corp. B Corp status requires a strenuous assessment of a business’s operations, environmental and social impact, and internal culture. With 4 Pines again making the cut for ‘Best For The World’ status, the brewery finds itself among the top businesses for sustainability world-wide.
To be considered ‘Best For The World’, a business “must have scores in the top 5% of one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification,” Turner explains.
“As all B Corps are already businesses that meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose, this is a recognition that makes us incredibly proud.”
For 4 Pines, these accreditations provide accountability, while ensuring the consumer can be confident of making an ethical choice and a time when drinkers are more aware than ever of ‘greenwashed’ products and companies.
“Our customers can be confident that by choosing our products they are supporting a business that cares about people and planet,” Turner says.
“Through undertaking the rigorous B Corp certification assessment our B Corp metrics can be accessed by anyone online.
“Our packaging proudly displays the B Corp logo, 1% For the Planet logo and we welcome our customers to visit our website to get the full picture of our commitment to Brew Better,” Turner adds.
And these accreditations are having real-world, practical impacts, as Turner explains.
“Through our 1% For The Planet partnership this year we teamed up with the Australian men’s cricket team and Landcare Australia to plant four trees for every four hit [during the summer’s cricket].”
As a result of this campaign, 4 Pines have commenced planting of 44,444 native Australian trees, shrubs and ground covers at Cape Jervis on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. In a press statement, 4 Pines said that: ‘This strategic location will enhance landscape connectivity, improve biodiversity and provide long term habitat for threatened & endangered species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo.’
Additionally, 4 Pines has also worked with Landcare Australia to plant 3,000 trees at Ryfield Hops, a family-owned farm that supplies the brewery.
4 Pines is taking steps to reduce its environmental footprint at during production, and at its brewery-owned venues.
“All our 4 Pines-owned venues and breweries are powered by 100% renewable electricity,” Turner says.
“Water wise, we go beyond the industry standard of using 5.3 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer produced. Currently we are sitting at 3.4HL/HL.”
Nevertheless, there are still areas where 4 Pines is looking to heighten its sustainable practices.
“We’re Zero Waste dreamers, one of the ways that we reduce our waste is by working with our suppliers to find ways to reduce the plastic delivered to us,” Turner says.
Currently, the brewery is diverting 70 per cent of its waste away from landfill and waterways.
“We still have some work to do in this space, namely switching some of our appliances away from gas to a renewable energy source. We are looking into the possibility of using hydrogen, so watch this space,” Turner adds.
The Shout also spoke to Troy Mullins, 4 Pines National Channel Account Manager to hear how producers can work with retailers towards a more sustainable future.
“This can be achieved by partnerships through incorporating sustainability objectives in joint business plans and adjusting to focussing on more sustainable options through ongoing marketing and messaging to consumers,” Mullins explained.
For Mullins, there is one area that drinks industry can focus on when seeking to raise the profile of sustainability: “Education, as we do every day.”
“We continuously look to educate retailers and consumers on products, the importance of moderation and leading trends.”
“The same passion needs to be applied as an industry to sustainability,” Mullins concludes.