The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Zealand’s first carbon-zero beer

Christchurch based craft brewery, The Fermentist, is bringing the nation its first carboNZero certified beer, following product certification by Enviro-Mark Solutions for its Kiwi Pale Ale (KPA).

The official certification forms part of the craft beer brand’s wider goal to be the first fully carbon neutral brewery in New Zealand by 2020.

The Fermentist is owned by leading brewer, Lion, and was built in 2018 to revive the company’s presence in Christchurch after its iconic red brewery was destroyed in the earthquakes. The brand came to life a little differently, built with a purpose to deliver a beer brand that does good for people and the planet.

Simon Taylor, General Manager for The Fermentist, says: “We are incredibly proud to bring New Zealand its first ever carboNZero certified beer. The Fermentist was founded on sustainability so it was important for us to measure and manage our impact to ensure we remain credible and authentic.

Over half of Kiwis now express high levels of concern over the impact of climate change on our country (Colmar Brunton, Better Futures Report 2019), with millennials driving a change in consumer behaviour. According to the NZ Shapers Report commissioned by The Purpose Business, 70% of Kiwi millennials are prepared to make major changes to their lifestyle and behaviour to help reduce the effects of climate change and 50% are now supporting/buying from ethical companies.

“carboNZero product certification also makes life easier for consumers, who are increasingly demanding ethical brands,” continues Taylor. “Consumers can now buy a beer knowing that its impact on the planet has been mitigated.  All of the emissions from the entire lifecycle of our KPA have been taken into account – from the fertiliser that goes into growing the grain to the refrigeration of the product in the consumer’s home.”

The certification process has helped The Fermentist accurately measure its greenhouse gas footprint and put in place strategies to manage and reduce that footprint each year.  For what can’t be reduced, an offset plan has been established.  For The Fermentist this means that the relatively small carbon footprint created by making its KPA will be offset by taking the same amount back out of the atmosphere through carbon credits purchased from the South Island’s Hinewai Reserve.

“Going through the certification process has reinforced the real benefits of building sustainability into the brewery from the ground up – we’ve been able to keep our emissions and subsequent offsetting low and unlock new opportunities to avoid certain emissions completely going forward.

“It’s also encouraged us to be even bolder in our sustainability goals. As a result, we’re now striving towards carbon neutrality as a whole brewery for next year – which will hopefully make us the first carbon neutral brewery in country,” adds Taylor.

Dr Ann Smith, Enviro-Mark Solutions Chief Executive, says The Fermentist has set a new standard for the Kiwi brewing industry – one that consumers are increasingly demanding:

“We are delighted to work with The Fermentist to bring their carboNZero certification dream to life. carboNZero product certification is an important way to take climate action while adding value to the product. The Fermentist’s commitment includes a robust footprint measurement, meaningful emissions reduction targets and transparent sustainability claims. The Fermentist is demonstrating that businesses can thrive while reducing their environmental impact.

“Concern about climate change impact is growing and consumers seeking sustainable products and services are taking action through their purchasing decisions. I congratulate The Fermentist on their wonderful achievement and look forward to supporting The Fermentist on their journey to achieving sustainable low carbon business operations.”

At the start of October, The Fermentist is releasing an innovative consumer brand campaign using the global phenomenon of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) to trace the journey of the KPA from harvest to hand, as well as new packaging to celebrate their KPA achieving carboNZero product certification.

The Fermentist will be sharing their carbon learnings across Lion to support the business’s goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2025 from a 2015 baseline.