Hop Take: Molson Coors Hereby Vows to Save the World


4 minute Read

Hop Take: Molson Coors Hereby Vows to Save the World

Molson Coors wants to save the world. Or at least set an earth-friendly example.

The company recently announced some pretty lofty sustainability goals in a document titled, “Our Beer Print” (clever, guys). Its “science-based targets” (SBTs) for 2025 includes lowering carbon emissions by 50 percent within its own operations (Molson Coors Canada, Molson Coors Europe, Molson Coors International, and MillerCoors in the U.S.), and by 20 percent across its value chain (packaging, agriculture, etc.).

The report highlights 2025 goals such as improving water-use efficiency to save water during the brewing process, to the tune of 2.1 billion gallons — achieving a 2.8 hl/hl water-to-beer ratio, compared to its current status of 3.57 hl/hl — as well as energy savings of 630,000,000 kWh, enough to run every domestic washing machine in the country for a year, the report says.

To improve water-use efficiency within its supply chain and internal operations, Molson Coors is offering $2 million in financial incentives for farmers to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations.

As with Anheuser-Busch InBev’s similar announcement in April, I can’t hate on conglomerates tying up loose ends. But while big brewers like AB InBev and Molson Coors are racing to catch up to their “beer prints,” for some smaller breweries sustainability has been a priority since day one.

New Belgium earned the highest-level certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) for its waste-reduction efforts; Sierra Nevada leads the charge for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified breweries with its LEED Platinum certified Mills River, N.C., brewery; and SweetWater is approaching the 12th anniversary of its “Save Our Water” campaign.

Big companies might make the biggest splash, but that’s because they have the largest footprint. Excuse me! I mean, “beer print.”

Big Beer Is Investing Big Bucks in Diversity

Remember when we said if small brewers don’t start paying attention to diversity, big brewers most certainly will? Well, they are!

Constellation Brands announced Kris Carey, SVP, general counsel, beer division, will take on the newly created role of chief diversity officer. Carey will maintain her position as SVP and lead a “Diversity and Inclusion” team.

The announcement came one day after Constellation Brands announced its acquisition of Dallas’s Four Corners Brewing, citing a desire to capitalize on Hispanic-influenced products as a reason for taking on that brewery.

“I can say first-hand that my colleagues value me for who I am and the different perspectives and experiences that I can bring to the table,” Carey said in a press release. “Enhancing our diversity and inclusion strategy that continues to foster a positive, inclusive culture is critical to our growth as an organization.”

Carey certainly fits the bill: She’s a member of the Constellation Brands’ Women’s Leadership Development Program; sits on the board of Chicago Scholars Foundation, a non-profit that mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities in Chicago; she’s a 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; and a recipient of the 2016 Legal Champion Award for leadership excellence in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, presented by the Illinois Diversity Council.

In Carey’s appointment, Constellation sets a precedent for big brewers and small brewers alike. Yes, they’re jumping on the diversity train, and it’s ultimately a new avenue to satiate corporate greed, if you’re a cynic.

But it’s also a step more breweries need to be taking. To build better breweries, staffs will need to include people of varying backgrounds and experiences. Promoting a woman of color is important. In 2017, Fortune reported via a Global Board Diversity Analysis report that just 19 percent of board seats were filled by women, and the number of women in key executive positions was even lower — 4 percent of CEO roles and 11 percent of CFO roles. Half the countries in the analysis had no female CEOs or CFOs at all.

Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for business. Gender and racial diversity boosts innovation and employee engagement. It improves financial returns.

To improve the beer economy, brewers need to employ — and market to — more communities than upper- middle-class millennial males.

CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective Collects Three Weavers

Los Angeles’s Three Weavers Brewing will be joining the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective (CANarchy), a portfolio of craft brewers partially funded by private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners. Founded by Lynne Weaver in 2013, and helmed by Weaver and brewmaster Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers has award-winning beers and a role in revitalizing L.A.’s Inglewood neighborhood.

“Now more than ever, it is vitally important for craft breweries to band together to preserve our collective livelihoods and legacies and grow the overall industry,” Weaver said in a press release.

She’s right. CANarchy’s growing portfolio — the collective just picked up Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing in June — is the alternative model to “selling out” to a multinational corporation. By aligning similarly sized and minded small, regional brewers, CANarchy members can grow their businesses and keep their ethos, expanding production and distribution without compromising quality. It’s not independence, it’s co-dependence. And while it might not meet your hippie aunt’s definition of a cooperative, it’s better than going broke, going under, or selling your life’s work for a pay day.

New Belgium Rocks Out New Partnership With Legendary Red Rocks Venue

New Belgium Brewing, based in Fort Collins, Colo., inked a deal with Denver Arts and Venues, the agency that operates the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, along with other events venues. The three-year deal marks New Belgium as “the official craft brewer of Red Rocks.” The deal will also up the brewer’s presence at the Colorado Convention Center, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and Bellco Theatre.

The partnership will include a new beer from New Belgium, Stage Rock Colorado Ale. The 4.7 percent ABV kölsch-style beer will be released in stovepipe cans at City of Denver venues, and potentially sold at select Denver retail locations (TBD). A portion of proceeds will go to Preserve the Rocks, a fund dedicated to preserving Red Rocks Amphitheatre and its surrounding area.

This rocks! (Sorry.)

Seriously, though, this is the type of corporate partnership we need to see more of. Local venue, local beer, helping each other, helping the earth. While it’s true that top 50-level craft brewers like New Belgium can seal these deals because they have the resources, that doesn’t mean smaller brewers can’t be creative about community partnerships and charities, too. Like Dad (real or sitcom) always said, spend within your means.

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