A reflection on our mission to help protect the envionment.
At Exale we have always wanted to make sure we’re making a positive impact on our environment and it’s been part of our plan from the very beginning. We have just celebrated our first birthday and thought this would be a good milestone to assess what we’ve done so far and look ahead to see what we can do next year to improve our impact on the world around us.
We assessed every part of our process and looked at reducing waste and harmful by-products in every aspect of our production. Even in the building process for our bar and taproom we put in place certain elements to reduce our impact. Our bathrooms have grey water sinks which refill the cisterns with hand wash grey water to use in the next flush, saving about 30% of our water usage in the bathrooms each year.
We also installed an aquaponics system which we fill with excess reclaimed water from cooling beer and this helps grow plants and filter water back into the fish tank which all helps absorb Co2 created in fermentation. We have added a lot of plants in the taproom for the same reason as we try and absorb Co2 from our brewing process in our environment. Even the paint choice was a Lyme based graphenstone paint which should absorb around 3kg of Co2 per litre used.
All of our spent grain is currently being fed back to high welfare Red Poll cattle on a local farm, next year we are embarking on a partnership to grow Koji on spent grain and turn a portion of our waste grain into Miso and Soya sauce. We also recycle waste beer into vinegar which is combined with lacto fermeted waste fruit and veg and put into hot sauces. These should be available to buy next year with a percentage going to local food poverty charities.
In our brewing process we’ve opted to use a spunding system to achieve carbonation with natural Co2 created during fermentation and reduce our use of Co2 gas. In our packaging we’ve opted for PET lightweight containers. Although they are made of plastic the light weight nature means they are about 8kg lighter for transport. We also send about 70% of the kegs back to the manufacturer to be recycled into more kegs meaning that the vast majority of the material is reused and recycled. We’ve opted for 440ml cans instead of bottles meaning the maximum amount of beer per packaged product, and in lighter weight containers.
We are looking at a plant based shrink wrap for next year to increase the
recyclability of our cans and reduce the use of glue and plastics in our labels.
We believe we’ve made a good start but we’re endeavouring to push on next year and have begun the process of becoming a Bcorp business. This will be a long and detailed process but we’re dedicated to achieving accreditation by the end of next year.
As well as the environmental side we have tried to do our part with our staff, customers and community. We have been a living wage employer since we began and are proud of the way we treat our staff. We have a brewery apprentice- Bruno, who will soon complete a his training through the university of Nottingham. We are putting in place plans for a staff profit share and are introducing the cycle to work scheme for next year. We have entered a partnership with Walthamstow FC as their main sponsor and will be looking to create funds to support free football training for the most vulnerable kids in the area. From next week we are stocking free female sanitary products in all our toilets and buying all the stock from the charity, “Hey Girls”, helping raise funds for period poverty causes. We are also committed to joining the 1% for the planet scheme and will be donating 1% of brewery sales to the cause.
We know there are lots of ways to have a positive impact as a business and are trying our best to make sure our decisions are based around whats good ethically & environmentally, as well as what will be good for us financially.