BRLO firmly believes beer is made for everyone. As Berlin brewery, BRLO equally values diversity and craftsmanship and hence brews up a wide variety of beer and cider styles that are everything but the norm. After a couple of their beers, you’ll find it gets easier to pronounce them. BRLO - the old slavic name of Berlin - stands for diversity of styles and creativity - but also for having a clear standpoint. The latter also entails that BRLO addresses climate change directly. Hence BRLO partnered with Planetly to make the first steps in assessing their CO2 footprint and consequentially, reduce it with the right focus on impactful projects.
Following the motto "Save the planet, it's the only one with beer", it has been important to BRLO since the beginning to act as sustainably as possible. Being a small brewery, they see themselves as a part of an extended community. For the company, this means operating as sustainably as possible with regards to their raw materials, production, gastronomy and their employees.
With sustainability being an important part of BRLO’s business model, the next logical step for the company was to also create carbon transparency about its own operations. They therefore partnered with Planetly to measure the company’s carbon footprint, develop effective reduction strategies and compensate for emissions that cannot yet be avoided.
BRLO’s carbon footprint covers not only direct and energy-related emissions (Scope 1 & 2) but also indirect emissions that occur outside the organisation (Scope 3).
To calculate the carbon footprint, we took a closer look at all relevant activities across BRLO’s operations, including building emissions such as heating and electricity, employee emissions such as commute, and emissions from purchased goods and services BRLO uses. We also considered logistic emissions and production emissions, including production materials, machinery, packaging, transportation and waste generated.
We first calculated all activities of 2020. For 2021, BRLO wanted to go one step further and already achieve carbon neutrality. Therefore, we calculated a forecast for CO2 emissions for the year 2021, which is still ongoing, and offset this amount. BRLO will provide all data after the end of the year to make a complete and robust analysis for 2021. If there are more emissions than originally assumed, BRLO will also compensate for the additional greenhouse gases.
BRLO already works as regionally as possible when it comes to raw materials and only works with selected suppliers who they know well and who share their values and quality standards. Besides that, BRLO uses green electricity and is also gradually converting their (small) vehicle fleet to hybrid and electric.
The BRLO BRWHOUSE in Berlin is built from old shipping containers, and in their gastronomy a big focus is put on vegetarian brewhouse cuisine. Furthermore, BRLO has a keen interest in the circular economy - not only do they donate their spent grains to pig farmers, but they also work together with start-ups to find alternative uses (e.g. mushroom protein growing on spent grains, food made from spent grains, etc.).
Making processes more sustainable is significantly more complex and costly for BRLO than for large mono-breweries which can achieve economies of scale more quickly and thus reduce their own carbon footprint more effectively. Nevertheless, BRLO is highly committed to incorporating sustainability into their core strategy from the outset since they consider it to be indispensable.
Offsetting is a relevant stepping-stone to have an immediate impact on unavoidable emissions. BRLO therefore decided to offset the company’s carbon footprint for 2021 by supporting three certified climate projects in Sierra Leone, Turkey and Kenya.
The clean water project in Sierra Leone collaborates closely with a local organisation to restore and maintain boreholes and to assure that proper sanitation practices are followed by the community members. The small-scale hydro project in Turkey is to use the existing water of the river without the need to build a separate catchment basin to then generate 73,950 MWh of electrical energy per year. The third project provides fuel-efficient cookstoves to rural communities in Kenya, reducing household wood consumption almost by half.