With 4 Pines deemed one of the Best for the World B Corps of 2022 – the fourth time it’s made the list – Beer & Brewer‘s sister title The Shout spoke to the brewery’s environmental and social impact advisor Sarah Turner (pictured below) to learn about their wider approach to sustainability.
“The environment is especially important to us as we rely on water to brew our beer and soil to grow our hops and malt,” Sarah said.
“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 five per cent of one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification,” Sarah explained.
“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,” Sarah said.
“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.
“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 of 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: ‘This strategic location will enhance landscape connectivity, improve biodiversity and provide long term habitat for threatened and 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 during production and at its brewery-owned venues.
“All our 4 Pines-owned venues and breweries are powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity,” Sarah said.
“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 3.4 hL/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,” Sarah said.
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.”.
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,” Troy said.
For Troy, there is one area that the 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.”