Cowbell Brewery Achieves Carbon Positive Status in 2020 

Waking Times

Cowbell Brewery Craft Beer is a destination brewery and beer garden passionate about accessibility, sustainability, social responsibility, and minimizing environmental impact. 

Cowbell Brewery has made tremendous headway in minimizing environmental impact by surpassing its goal of carbon neutrality and achieving carbon positive results in 2020. According to Clinton News Record, “Cowbell’s activities go beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions to create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” 

Four years into the operation, Cowbell Brewery events have exceeded their expectations by reaching carbon positivity. In addition, Cowbell Brewery was effective in offsetting the carbon they produced, but they removed additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to CTV News London, Cowbell was able to achieve this by optimizing practices such as “using ionized air, not water to clean their cans and using brew kettles that are 80% more efficient than regular to save approximately 250 liters per brew”. In addition, Cowbell’s facility implemented coated west-facing windows, along with motion sensor LED lighting, select green roofs, and planted 17,000 trees along the property. This contributed to Enviro-Stewards quantifying Cowbell’s 2020 emissions and offsets resulting from its tree planting and sustainability efforts in their sustainability assessment and carbon footprint analysis for 2020.

Accountability and transparency are at the heart of how Cowbell Brewery operates. Cowbell partner, CEO, and president Randy Powell stated to Clinton News Record that “When producing our high-quality beverages, it is necessary for us to utilize natural resources and generate emissions. The climate crisis compels us to operate responsibly and truly commit to sustainability. We have achieved quantifiable progress in offsetting our carbon footprint and have now achieved carbon positive results.”

Cowbell continues to fight for the minimization of environmental impact with the following green initiatives in place: 

  • “A rectification boil system that increases the efficiency of Cowbell’s brew kettle by 80 percent. More beer is brewed in less time, using less energy while conserving 250 liters of water per brew.
  • Water used to make Cowbell’s premium craft beverages is sourced from an on-site well. The water is treated through a three-step filtration process, including particle filtration, carbon filtration and UV light), then wastewater is treated, removing 99 per cent of the organic load.
  • Cowbell’s packaging line cleans cans with zero-waste ionized air, rather than water, currently conserving about 10 million liters of water per year.
  • The Cowbell building is constructed from Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified wood products and renewable Canadian Douglas Fir, Pine, Oak and Hemlock, and other locally sourced, timeless materials.
  • Environmentally inert fiberglass and wood windows were installed throughout the building. The west-facing windows were coated to reduce the greenhouse effect by 80 per cent. Operable cupola windows provide natural ventilation via the stack effect and reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer. Ceiling fans reduce temperature stratification and reduce the heating and cooling load by 20 per cent.
  • All lighting fixtures are high-efficiency LED, with motion sensors to turn on lights only when required.
  • Low-flow fixtures throughout the building minimize the use of water and the effect on the on-site wastewater treatment plant.
  • The Cowbell Brewing parking lot features five electric vehicle-charging stations which are free to use by Cowbell guests.
  • Sections of green roof absorb solar radiation and rainwater, clean the air, and provide a habitat for butterflies, insects, and small birds.

Through a multi-year partnership with the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, 28 acres at Cowbell have been reforested with 17,000 native species trees, pollinators, and fruit producers.” 

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