UNI’s Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) has provided environmental assistance to Iowa’s small businesses for more than 30 years, so it was a natural fit for them to start working with Iowa craft breweries. In 2017, they launched the Iowa Green Brewery Certification as a way to reward the great breweries of Iowa for their implementation of sustainable practices and their commitment to the environment. The certification also allows breweries to benchmark themselves against their peers across the state and gain valuable public exposure for their efforts.
The program focuses on several areas of the brewing process, including energy efficiency, water quality/conservation, waste management and overall environmental planning. IWRC staff visit a brewery upon request and conduct a thorough audit of their operation and complete a certification scoresheet. After the audit, they provide the brewery with their score and a recommendations report outlining ways they can improve their score and minimize their environmental impact even more.
Based on their score, breweries can earn one of four levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The IWRC has certified nearly 25% of the breweries across the state since the program’s inception.
Breweries receive immeasurable marketing and promotional advantages from this certification. IWRC provides each certified brewery with window clings, a framed certificate to display as well as local media promotion and wide-reaching social media exposure.
For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/green-brewery.