One of my favorite beers is a local Colorado beer called Fat Tire. It is made by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins and they are well known as a company with a strong environmental conviction. So, they decided to measure the exact impact that their beer has on the environment by measuring the carbon footprint of a six pack of Fat Tire beer. Last year they hired the Climate Conservancy to create this very comprehensive report that goes into great detail on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the lifecycle of a six pack of Fat Tire beer. Of most interest to me was the impact of the paper labels. The impact of the paper material was 9.2g of CO2 and the adhesive was 7.6g of CO2, which includes the shipping of the beer labels to the bottling plant. So, a total impact of 16.8g of CO2 for each six pack of Fat Tire produced. The report is 37 pages long and it most likely is the most comprehensive study done by any brewery on the environmental impact of beer. The total average CO2 emission to produce a six pack of Fat Tire and transport it to its destination in a liquor store is 3,189g. It is good to know the label only contributes around 0.5% of the total. I expect to see more companies doing these kinds of studies in the future and eventually this information will make its way on to product labels. In case you are wondering, New Belgium produces a Sustainability report that details how it tries to mitigate the large amounts of CO2 that is emitted as part of its beer production process. Photo by Shiokuma.
The Carbon Footprint of Fat Tire Beer
This entry was posted on February 11, 2009.