Celebrating Eco-Progress: Guiness

I confess.

I did not wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Nor did I attend any St. Patrick’s Day event.

I ate no corned beef and cabbage, and I raised no pint of Guiness.

But, I did read, much to my environmentalist delight, that Guiness, the legendary Irish brewing company, has made significant commitments to sustainable practices, earning them an installment in my Celebrating Eco-Progress series.

Via the National Resources Defense Council blog:

“Sustainability and enhancing the environment of the Dublin communities has been a core philosophy of the Guinness Company since it was founded,” said Paul Carty, Managing Director at the Guinness Storehouse, the brewery’s large and historic facility at St. James’s Gate in the Irish capital. Last year the Storehouse, now a major tourist attraction hosting a million visitors annually, received a three-star accreditation from Sustainable Travel International for its environmental commitment. (The actual brewing was moved from the old facility in 1988.)

Among the highlights recognized by the award are these:

  • Adoption of environmental performance indicators
  • Measures to reduce waste, chemical use, and energy consumption
  • Use of paper products derived from sustainably managed forests
  • Advanced lighting technology
  • Local food sourcing
  • Locally sourced construction materials
  • Sustainability training for staff

That parenthetical note, that the actual brewing is done at a different facility, does seem a bit of a letdown, and of course the Guiness we drink here in the States necessarily has a regrettably large carbon footprint just for being shipped here.

And yet, as I’ve always said about the companies I feature in Celebrating Eco-Progress, in recognition that every little bit of effort does indeed help, I applaud the measures that have been taken, and I encourage us all to applaud them as well, indicating loud and clear that this is, indeed, a direction their customers would like to see them continue going in.

I’ve written before of my fondness for being down at the pub, having a pint with the lads, so I’m looking forward to, first chance I get, lifting a glass of Guiness stout and drinking it with hope for a sustainable future.

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