Here at Great Divide, we are passionate about our environmental responsibility. In 2016, a group of passionate Great Divide employees came together to create the Great Divide Green Team. As the brewery expanded and opened a brand new facility, the team saw an opportunity to implement greener practices on every level. From simple recycling initiatives in the breakrooms and office spaces to implementing changes on a larger scale in production areas, the Green Team has shifted the culture and attitude of Great Divide employees to incorporate everyday green practices throughout the entire brewery. Today, Great Divide is proud to report a 99% diversion rate of waste to the landfill.
The Great Divide Brewing Company Green Team is devoted to ensuring that the production of our award winning beer is economical, profitable, and sustainable. By minimally impacting the environment, we leave a positive impression on those who enjoy our beer.
IDENTIFY areas in which the brewery could be more economical or profitable by analyzing our current methods. We can do so by reducing waste streams.
EDUCATE employees and customers about policies, practices, and procedures by distributing information to ensure clarity and precision.
FACILITATE in developing programs to minimize waste and improve business practices while offering positive reinforcement through transitional phases.
SUSTAIN a culture of producing high-quality beer through economically and environmentally responsible practices. All while measuring and presenting metric in order to encourage a culture of green practices within the company.
2017 Recipient of the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Grant
Great Divide Brewing Company has been awarded a $16,000 grant to launch a recycling program in the RiNo neighborhood. The funding is part of the competitive grant program, which is administered by the CDPHE.
National 2018 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award
This award honors and recognizes small businesses, individuals, trade associations and others who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment via the Environmental Protection Agency.
Community Recycling Program
In 2017 we were awarded a $16,000 grant to launch a recycling program in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver, home of our packaging facility and Barrel Bar. The funding was part of the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) competitive grant program, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The Green Team decided to use the grant to establish the brewery as a community recycling center for small manufacturing businesses in the RiNo neighborhood.
The inspiration behind becoming a hub for a community recycling program came about when the Green Team started researching ways to recycle polypropylene grain bags and shrink wrap, items which recycling centers do not take unless the items are baled (compacted into blocks that can be stacked and easily transported). Without a baler, these streams go directly to landfills.
“We estimate that we use 2,000 lbs of polypropylene grain bags a month, and all of this was going to the dump,” said Erin Cox, sustainability coordinator at Great Divide. “We realized if we were struggling with recycling these items, then surely our neighboring breweries were also having the same issue.”
Upon receiving the grant, we became registered as an official recycler in the state of Colorado. Using the grant money, the Green Team purchased and installed two balers and a pallet scale which weighs recyclable materials and can help participating businesses understand their diversion rates and impact. The team launched a pilot program in the spring of 2018 with our neighbors Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Black Shirt Brewing to ensure that the program would be efficient and run smoothly for all involved. The Community Recycling Program officially launched in August of 2018 when we opened up our recycling capabilities to other RiNo small businesses.
“At the end of the day, this grant serves as a way to ensure that we’re impacting the environment as little as possible,” said Cox. “With these new resources, we are not only able to bale our own waste streams, but we can handle our neighbors’ recyclable byproducts as well.”
If you are a business in Denver who would benefit from being involved in our Community Recycling Program and would like to participate, please use our submission form below to apply.
Before you apply please click here to review our guidelines for participating companies.
The Green Team tracks and collects data quarterly for water, electricity, and diversion rate to the landfill. Since installing the balers in April of 2018, Great Divide has baled and diverted over 11,000 pounds (~5.6 tons) of cardboard, shrink wrap, and grain bags combined! With the implementation of this program, the Green Team has helped the brewery obtain a 99% diversion rate, putting the brewery in the top 1% of the Craft Beer industry for waste diversion.
Water to Beer Ratio – 7.09:1
Electricity (kWh) to Beer – 47.87:1
Water to Beer – 6.39:1
Electricity (kWh) to Beer –43.66:1