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BrewDog has announced that it is going carbon negative - here's what that means

With the help of a 2,000 acre BrewDog Forest and a £30m investment plan, the Scottish craft brewer is set to become the world’s first carbon negative international beer business.

Published: August 25, 2020
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Scottish craft brewer BrewDog, recently announced that it is to become carbon negative, and that it will remove twice as much carbon from the air than it emits every single year.

This step makes the business the first carbon negative international beer brand in the world, as it sets out to fight climate change and have a positive impact on the planet.

The move is founded in its belief that carbon neutral is no longer enough, and that businesses should be having a positive impact on the planet. Because of this, BrewDog is unveiling a climate action program with £30m of green investments across its business.

The BrewDog Forest

BrewDog carbon negative

As part of these efforts the brewing giant has also purchased 2,050 acres of Scottish Highlands just north of Loch Lomond, to create the BrewDog Forest, and plans to plant one million trees over the next few years.

Commenting on the forest, David Robertson, director at Scottish Woodlands said: "Woodland creation of this scale is at the forefront of the fight to sequester atmospheric carbon in the UK and the BrewDog Forest will be one of the largest native woodlands created in the UK for many years.”

BrewDog will create 1,400 of broadleaf native woodlands, and 650 acres of peatland restoration in accordance with the Woodland Carbon code the Peatland code.

As well as removing carbon, woodland creation also promotes bio- diversity, natural flood reduction and drives rural economic development. Work is expected to start on the BrewDog Forest in early 2021.

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The brewer also plans to create a sustainable campsite on the land, that will host sustainability retreats and workshops for the general public, in addition to inviting its 130,000 Equity Punks investors to help with tree planting from early 2021.

“Our Carbon. Our Problem."

BrewDog carbon negative

Over the past few months the team at BrewDog has been working closely with lead scientific adviser, Professor Mike Berners-Lee and his team at Small World Consulting.

Berners-Lee is one of the world’s leading experts in carbon foot-printing and sustainability and has led the process of calculating BrewDog’s carbon footprint, as well as being pivotal in the design of its carbon removal plan.

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The partnership has helped to direct over £30 million of ​investment into green infrastructure to support the business in reducing carbon emissions.

In order to double remove all of its carbon, until it is able to begin planting the BrewDog Forest, the brewer will be working with offset partners on a series of projects.

Each organisation has the highest standard of accreditation and has been additionally vetted by Berners-Lee and his team with each project deemed beneficial to biodiversity and local communities.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog commented: “Our Carbon. Our Problem. So, we are going to fix it ourselves.

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"Huge change is needed right now, and we want to be a catalyst for that change in our industry and beyond. We fully acknowledge that we are a long way from perfect.

"However, we are determined to rapidly and fundamentally change everything as we work hard to ensure we have a positive impact on the planet.”

Mike Berners Lee, founder of Small World Consulting added: “After decades of inaction we have a full-on climate crisis on our hands.

"The scale and speed of the change we now need is enormous, and cuts right across politics, business and every corner of society.

"The good news is that if we are smart about our transition, we can make our lives better at the same time as making them more sustainable.

"With the actions laid out in this report, BrewDog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs.

"They are raising the bar for the business world, both in their strong carbon cutting action and their straight talking. BrewDog beer can represent another small nudge for a better world.”

James Watt continued: “The scientific consensus is clear: we are sleepwalking off the edge of a cliff.

"Unless the world confronts the urgent carbon problem, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic. There has been too much bullshit for too long.

"Governments have proved completely inept in the face of this crisis. The change our world and society needs, has to come from progressive business and we want to play our role and nail our colours to the mast.”

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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