If ever there was a time to act for our changing world, surely it is now.
A t St Austell Brewery, we invest in resilient and regenerative practices that generate positive impacts, on our environment and in our communities.
We know that investing in regeneration will help us to achieve our net zero targets while building strong networks and climate resilience. We want to do good and ensure the longevity of our business for future generations.
We are committed to taking urgent action to combat climate change by targeting our biggest carbon emissions and reaching net zero by 2040.
We’re also passionate about giving back to the communities we operate our pubs and breweries in. Since 2003, we have donated over £1 million to support local charities, individuals and important causes across the South West. We have also pledged to give 1% of our profits every year to good causes.
Read more about our sustainable development - from investment in renewables to how we ensure responsible consumption across our business - by clicking the links below.
Net zero mission
We are committed to reaching net zero by 2040. Our decarbonisation roadmap, based on our 2019 carbon report, targets six emission hotspots: agriculture, processing raw materials, packaging, cooling, distribution and brewing.
Our priority is reducing and avoiding carbon across all operations and our supply chain. We’ll only look to offset residual emissions after all reduction and avoidance mechanisms have been deployed. We commission regular greenhouse gas reports to gather data on our carbon emissions.
Zero Carbon Forum
We are one of the founding members of the Zero Carbon Forum, pledging our commitment to decarbonising our business for future generations. The Zero Carbon Forum is a non-profit organisation, empowering brewers and hospitality businesses to work together to reach sustainability targets with more speed and efficiency.
With defined roadmaps – backed by peers, government, and leading sustainability experts – the Zero Carbon Forum has ambitious net-zero targets (to eliminate operational emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero across supply chains by 2040). Read more about the Zero Carbon Forum here and view the roadmap here.
Green CO₂ supply
In 2021, we made the switch to a 100% renewable and sustainable CO₂ supply at both our production sites, in St Austell and Bath. CO₂ is a crucial component in the brewing and production process. Examples of its uses include the carbonation of our packaged beers, the purging of road tankers, and the pressurising of kegs. Our supply is sourced locally from green energy specialist, BioCarbonics Ltd, which generates green CO₂ - as a by-product for renewable energy production - from maize grown in the South West. The maize is broken down naturally via a process called anaerobic digestion, which produces the gas.
Investing in renewables
As a business, we purchase 100% REGO backed electricity from the grid (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin). As a result of this, we have been able to declare zero scope 2 emissions since 2020. This reduced our carbon emissions by 11.2% in just four months.
Our solar arrays at St Austell Brewery, Hare Brewery, and our Central Distribution Centre produced enough electricity to power over 100 homes in 2020, reducing our emissions by over 90 tonnes of CO₂. We hope to implement further projects to strengthen our renewable credentials in future, as technology in this area continues to develop.
Water use & our effluent plant
We continue to look at ways where we can reduce our water usage and the environmental impact of our brewhouse operations. Examples include fitting all water hoses with smaller diameter pipes, trigger high pressure guns, the installation of conical vessels, continuous review of cleaning regimes and brewhouse operations (sparge volumes, spent grain water wastage, heat exchanger control etc.), all of which will help reduce water consumption. Other actions we’ve taken include installing an economiser on our boiler, reducing boil times, and carrying out ongoing investigations into replacing kerosene fuel with sustainable alternatives.
We have made huge inroads so far in reducing our water usage. In the year 2000, it took our brewing team 13 pints of water to produce a pint of beer. In 2022, it takes just four pints of water.
Our effluent plant at St Austell Brewery helps us to recycle our used water. It uses bacteria to break down organic matter, reducing the amount of treatment that is then required at our local wastewater plant.
Environmental benefits include the production of green biomethane. This powers the CHP (combined heat and power) engine installed at the plant, which generates up to 65kW of electricity per hour. The water used to cool the engine also provides the heat required to keep the bacteria warm, happy, and actively producing bio-methane.
At our St Austell Brewery, we generate around 10% of our electricity needs from our renewable source of biogas. Methane is produced at our on-site effluent plant, which treats waste water and biomass from the brewery via an anaerobic digestor. This gas is then burned by our combined heat and power generator to create clean electricity.
We’ve been working in partnership with waste management firm, Cornwall Waste Solutions (CWS), since 2017 and we’re proud to be zero waste to landfill across our managed estate.
Since joining forces, we've worked with CWS towards reducing our environmental footprint, improving waste segregation, and helping to divert our waste from landfill. Food waste from our managed pubs is sent to anaerobic digestion plants to be composted, glass is sent back to the glass production chain to be recycled, and mixed recycling cardboard and plastic is sent back into the manufacturing process. Our general waste is sent to ‘waste to energy’ recovery plants to be converted into electricity.
Working with local farms
We source barley from local farms, reducing road miles. In total, almost 900 acres of Cornish farmland has been cultivated to grow Maris Otter – exclusively for the brewery – which has the potential to produce up to 1,500 tonnes of barley.
The Cornwall Maris Otter Partnership was first set up in 2002. Our aim was to reintroduce the variety as a staple crop in the county and form long-lasting relationships with farmers, to ensure a ready supply for the brewery. The partnership is one of our key initiatives in supporting the local economy and cutting transport mileage. Our commitment to local sourcing was instrumental to being awarded a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development in 2018.
As a business, we’re 100% committed to local and sustainable sourcing. We are passionate about ensuring everything we do is both environmentally sound and economically valuable. We expect the same of our suppliers and their interconnected supply chains, so only seek to work with companies that share our values.
Supporting the local economy
We have built up a trusted network of local West Country suppliers over the years, the vast majority of which are based in Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset, and many are family owned. We’re committed to sourcing as much sustainable local produce as we possibly can.
Our green fleet
Our new fleet vehicles are 100% hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric. As a business, we are no longer procuring pure petrol or diesel cars – a huge step forward in reducing our carbon emissions. We will shortly be installing charging points at our breweries in St Austell and Bath, Heathfield depot, and CDC and have big ambitions to grow the South West’s EV charging network by installing them across our pub estate.
We have over 140 tenants and licensees across the South West, and we’re very proud of the fantastic sustainable initiatives they have embedded in their businesses. For example, Mark Holden and Justin Barnett (Victoria Inn, Roche, Victoria Inn, Threemilestone, and Norway Inn, Perranworthal) have installed solar panels - from Naked Solar - on all three of their sites. This is the latest step they've taken to use more renewable energy as a business. Mark and Justin also invested in a fleet of electric cars to deliver Pub Grub to shielding customers during the pandemic. They've continued to offer this takeaway service ever since, and have installed charging stations outside their pubs.
Martin and Natalie Watts at The Travellers Rest in Trevarrian Hill are helping local children learn more about the environment with the opening of a wildlife zone and eco-friendly play area. They have been opened with expert help and a community services fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services. The wildlife zone has a pond as well as chickens and ducks, plus hedgehog shelters have also been built to allow for their hibernation.
Pub is the Hub
We are very proud to support Pub is The Hub, an organisation of specialist voluntary advisors for rural pubs and licensees who are thinking of broadening their range of services. You can find out more about the organisation here.
In partnership with Pub is The Hub, we have encouraged some of our own great licensees to work with communities and provide additional services such as the community libraries at The Old Inn at Mullion and The Crown Inn, Goldsithney (near Penzance). Our team have also been closely involved in supporting the South West region for Pub is The Hub for over a decade.
Grassroots sports sponsorships
We are proud to support sports clubs across the South West, sponsoring many clubs and sports leagues in our heartland.
We support grass roots rugby in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset as the Official Beer of South West Rugby and sponsor 14 different leagues and many local teams. Tribute is also the Official Beer of Plymouth Argyle and also features at Exeter City and Truro City, as well as many high profile non-league football clubs.
In 2013, Tribute became the main title sponsor of Somerset County Cricket and appears on shirts in all forms of the game. It’s also the official beer of Bath Rugby.
korev is the official sponsor of Surfing England, the national governing body for the sport of surfing in England. It’s run by surfers, and supports surf coaches, surf clubs, and surf schools nationwide.