Sierra Nevada diverts 99.8% of solid waste from landfills through creative measures that encourage reusing, recycling and composting. We hit this high percentage through an extensive zero waste program, which includes reusing and recycling office paper, shrink wrap, scrap metal and everything in between. Our Chico brewery was the first facility to achieve Platinum Zero Waste certificatoin from the US Zero Waste Business Council in 2013 and our Mills River brewery followed suit in 2016 by also achieving Platinum Zero Waste status.
We use at least 150,000 pounds of malted barley and 4,000 pounds of hops to brew our beer each day – a huge amount of potential waste. Instead of landfilling, we send the spent brewing ingredients as feed to local cattle and dairy farms.
Our Chico brewery is home to the first HotRot composting system in the U.S. Since it was installed in 2010, the state-of-the-art system has transformed more than 5,000 tons of organic waste from our brewery and restaurant into rich compost which is then used in our Estate hop field, barley field and garden.
In Mills River, we are fortunate to partner with a local composting company. We then close the loop by purchasing compost from the same company for landscaping and gardening.
Sierra Nevada makes every effort to recover CO2 produced during fermentation and recycle it back into the brewery instead of transporting purchased CO2 from miles away. At our Chico brewery, we capture and reuse so much CO2 that we only need to source around a dozen tanks a year instead of 3-4 truckloads each week. Soon, Mills River will practice the same recovery efforts.