The Green Brewhaha: Sustainability at Squatters Pub Brewery

What’s your name and the name of your brewery?

Jenny Talley, Brew Master and James Soares, Environmental and Social Responsibility Director

Squatters Pub Brewery, owned and operated by Salt Lake Brewing Co. – which oversees three restaurants and bottles and kegs beers throughout the Intermountain West.

How long have you been in the business?

21 years (Jenny)

Where are you located?
Salt Lake City

What volume of beer do you produce and where do you distribute?

At our flagship location we produce 1,250 barrels for our restaurants (in-house sales and “to-go” sales out of our Bottle Shop, as well as our locations in the Salt Lake City International Airport and the ski resort town of Park City.)

What are your plans for growth, if any?

Our present focus is to maximize the potential of our current operations and facilities. We are always looking for growth opportunities, yet not actively pursuing them.

What makes your brewery sustainable?

Our brewery is housed in our flagship full service, 450 seat restaurant; therefore we have invested most of our efforts to date into the restaurant side of our model. Along with practicing triple bottom line economics we incorporate sustainable practices into everything we do. For example, these efforts results in operational changes like waterless urinals, dual flush toilets and high temperature dishwashers which eliminate the need for an additional chemical and reduce the total water usage per rack significantly.

Our mission also impacts how we purchase and source our ingredients like our beef, pork and lamb from Niman Ranch. We also continue to increase the amount of items we purchase locally.

Another element of our business that has increased our sustainability is the management of our waste streams. From our spent grain which is utilized for animal feed and an ingredient in our custom burger buns. Other management practices recycling glass, mixed recyclables and recently we added wine corks through a Cork Reharvest Program.

This summer we added the first ever on street diagonal bike rack in front of our restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City as a partnership with the Salt Lake City Transportation Division. If you’re interested in getting one in front of you establishment just check out the story from Portland, Oregon.

Squatters’ carbon footprint was calculated using the methodologies of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol created by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This protocol is the most widely used international accounting tool for understanding, quantifying, and managing GHG emissions. Our carbon footprint is 3rd party monitored by Sustainable Business Consulting in which every employee is involved, and our carbon use has gone down by almost a 3rd between 2007 and 2009.

1,473 metric tons of CO2 equivalence, 5.7 metric tons of CO2 equivalence/employee
935 metric tons of CO2 equivalence, 5.4 metric tons of CO2 equivalence/employee

Other successes since measuring our baseline include:

  • Reducing our paper usage by almost 40%, avoiding the purchase of 155 reams of paper
  • Eliminating the purchase of virgin paper and purchasing 54% more 100 percent recycled content
  • Purchasing renewable energy credits from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program and helped us further avoid 167 metric tons of CO2e, the equivalence to avoiding the annual GHG emissions of 32 passenger vehicles
  • Donating our spent grain to a local pig farm which reduced our waste cost and to the farmers feed cost
  • Collecting our leftover fryer oil and converting to biofuel at a 98% conversion rate

What’s your biggest sustainability challenge?

Our size; because we are 1,250 barrel producing facility our sustainable efforts are worthy, but not stunning, though we continue to reduce our footprint annually.

Any new sustainability projects in the pipeline that have you excited?

Currently we are looking at two large projects for 2011: Improving efficiencies in the brewery and the restaurants via led lighting and lower voltage options. We are also looking at a solar thermal intermediate heating system which will fill our hot liquor tank with preheated water which will significantly reduce our energy usage to heat water directly from our municipal source.

Forget finances- what’s your brewery pipe dream?

I would like another fermenter and I would like to expand our barrel program to the 3rd floor. More square footage=more barrels=more barrel beer☺

What is the one thing you want Triple Pundit readers to know about your brewery?

It has been fantastic to be involved with Squatters for 20 years and to see the growth and movement to a green/sustainability mission statement. Any suggestions on how to make our restaurant and/or brewery more earth friendly would be happily received.

What’s your favorite brew?

Fifth Element, my barrel aged Farmhouse ale.

Jen Boynton

Jen Boynton is editor in chief of TriplePundit and editorial director at 3BL Media. With over 6 million annual readers, TriplePundit is the leading publication on sustainable business and the Triple Bottom Line. Prior to TriplePundit, Jen received an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School. In her work with TriplePundit she's helped clients from SAP to PwC to Fair Trade USA with their sustainability communications messaging. When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA -- court appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with toddlers and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.

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