|Going Green never tasted so good|
|Monday, 16 August 2010 14:59|
Every time a Sands is sipped, a Strong Back is savoured, a High Rock is relished, or a Triple-B is bought, the local community reaps economical and environmental benefits from the behind-the-scenes business practices of the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company of Freeport.
The importance of local business support for the positive economic future and environmental health of our island has never been greater. The Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company is leading the way in these areas with their outstanding commitment to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle waste, support job growth, and give back to the local community.
On the Green front, the Brewery offers a bottle return program for all bottles that originate from their facility. On a monthly basis roughly 9,000 cases of product are shipped using bottles that have been brought back to the brewery as part of their bottle return program. If this trend stays on course, it equates to over 200,000 bottles every month, or over 2 million bottles per year that are saved from the fate of ending up in the GB landfill. As an added bonus, the bottle return program has decreased trash on our island’s streets as people have realized they can return the bottles to the brewery for $2/case.
The bottle reuse program is just the tip of the iceberg. The brewery also recycles all of their waste aluminum that is created during the canning process of their beverages. All aluminum can waste they produce is picked up weekly by the Bahamian owned company Presto Recycling of Freeport. Presto Recycling in turn compresses the cans and ships them to the U.S. where they are recycled.
The environmental practices of the brewery also benefit the community way beyond waste reduction. Each week, roughly 4 tons of 'spent grain' is donated to local farmers. 'Spent Grain' is a by-product of the beer brewing industry and can be used as a protein additive in animal feeds. Local farmers arrive daily at the brewery to pick up the spent grain that has accumulated from the previous day’s beer brewing cycle. This by-product which would normally be thrown away is helping to feed the island’s livestock and assisting farmers with decreasing their feed costs. Everybody wins.The brewery also donates all of their clean cardboard waste to local schools for Junkanoo costumes. As pallets of new bottles come in, the cardboard is neatly stacked and stored until the schools need the material. According to assistant brew master Lorenzo Johnson, the demand for this type of cardboard for costumes is greater than the supply, so the brewery is glad to donate what they have. As far as soiled or used cardboard goes, the brewery has now partnered with DAPL Farms. The locally owned company DAPL Farms takes the used cardboard waste from bottles that have been returned and they use it to help maintain moisture in the soil at their farm. The cardboard eventually disintegrates and becomes part of the earth. It doesn’t get much greener than that!
The Bahamian Brewery truly embodies the values and practices that are required for our island’s environmental sustainability, and the positive economic impacts of this successful growing company directly benefit the local community. As the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company grows, so does the number of employees who work at the local Freeport facility. From the cardboard that comes in, to the “spent grain” that goes out, to the bottles being returned, and all the jobs associated with manufacturing and distributing the product, truly the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company is a role model for our island and our nation.
The next time you sip a Sands, or savour a Strong Back, or relish a High Rock, or buy a Triple-B, know that you are helping the community and supporting many important environmental initiatives associated with the life cycle of the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage company’s products.
So here’s your green challenge for the week. The next time you’re at your favorite watering hole or just sipping a beer with a neighbor, have some dialogue about the brewery’s practices to spread the good word and get other’s thinking in an environmental capacity. Oh, and when you’re finished enjoying your locally produced liquid refreshment please don’t throw the bottle in the trash, make sure the bottle finds it’s way back to the brewery.
Cheri Wood recently retired from Bank of America and has now permanently relocated to Grand Bahama. Her career of over 20 years in corporate America included serving in various capacities including training, marketing, sales, quality control, risk assessment, communications and operational management. While performing her regular job responsibilities, Cheri also served several years as the president of the Environmental Network for the Bank of America in the State of Rhode Island. Her experience in the environmental arena includes project management and coordination of volunteer events on local and national levels throughout the United States. Over the years she has worked closely with organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Rhode Island Rivers’ Council, and in 2010 Cheri was elected as secretary of the GB Branch of the Bahamas National Trust. Serving in her voluntary role with the Bahamas National Trust, Cheri is involved with increasing recycling on the island, promoting green practices with local businesses, educating the community on the importance of preserving the environment, and serving as a resource for those who wish to participate in environmental opportunities on local and international levels.
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