Ready for some seriously rad news? Darling Brew is the first brewery in South Africa to receive a Green Star rating from the GBCSA (Green Building Council of South Africa).

This is an achievement truly worthy of a toast, so cheers!

This follows our proud milestone of becoming Africa’s first official carbon-neutral brewery and is a massive step in our journey towards becoming the greenest business we can possibly be.

BUT WHAT IS A GREEN STAR?

The Green Star rating is awarded to businesses, or more specifically the buildings they occupy, that tick a predefined list of green checkboxes (listed below). The questions we had to ask ourselves included:

  • Do we recycle our waste and water?
  • Are we using LED lights?
  • Are we utilizing renewable energy sources?

Fortunately for us, in most cases, the answer was a resounding ya we do, broe!

It took some work to prove it, though. The GBCSA wasn’t just going to take our word for it. This presented one of our greatest challenges in earning this illustrious Green Star Rating:  actually monitoring our practices and reporting them back to the GBCSA.

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM OUR GREEN STAR MISSION

While the challenge was great, it was an enlightening process that we implore any serious environmentally conscious businesses to undertake.

It saw us implement a Smart Metering system that enabled us track important stats like water and energy usage, ventilation and recycling. This, in turn, helped us identify room for improvement in our production process. This now helped us to make significant shifts in our production planning and practices.

Amazing what a chain of effects this whole journey has been so far. It has been a real green  evolution, and both we and the environment are far better off for it!

HOW GREEN IS DARLING BREW?

Pretty damn green, guys! Check this list of how we have made our lives a better place while  created a place that is better for everyone.

Below are some of the steps we took to ensure our Green Star rating:

  • Use of natural light in brewery
  • Mostly naturally ventilated
  • LED retrofit in restaurant
  • Use of upcycled furniture and recycled wood in the Brewery and Tasteroom area
  • Advanced energy and water metering
  • Solar water heating
  • Water efficient fittings in bathrooms
  • Waterless urinals
  • Rainwater harvesting from roof which is used in staff ablutions, some general brewery washing and all irrigation demands
  • Wasted process water from the brewing process is captured and reused for floor washing and other cleaning activities
  • Sustainable procurement programme
  • Ongoing recycling and food waste management
  • High SRI roof paint used and reflector foil on north-east facing windows to reduce solar heat gain
  • Indigenous landscaping throughout the site

THE GREEN JOURNEY KEEPS ROLLING OUT

While we are absolutely ecstatic about our present green star rating, and we truly are, our mission is not over just yet. Currently, we hold a Four Green Star Rating, which is two shy from the top spot denoted by six stars that declare you as a “World Leader” in adopting green practices.

As the song goes: we want the “World” and we want it now!

One of the first concerns we will be addressing is the implementation of more solar panels to utilize renewable energy and help heat our water. This is not so much a financial decision, as the installation is actually quite an expensive endeavour, but rather our focus on emissions saving. Additionally and equally important, to secure a reliable secondary source of energy.

With Eskom’s increasingly dark future, (pun intended) we need to know the lights will go on when we flip the switch.

WHAT IS DARLING BREW DOING TO GO EVEN GREENER?

Additionally, we will be slowly but surely be replacing our remaining incandescent/fluorescent lights with the considerably more energy efficient LEDs. This is another expensive process, so it will take some time to complete but while we can’t make it happen all at once, with our commitment to best green practices we will confidently stride forward to reach our goals and keep setting an example for fellow breweries and business to follow.

We raise a glass of gold, to green!

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