Alfa: sustainable for almost 150 years!
The founding of our brewery in 1870 can be seen as a form of corporate social responsibility. We really were far ahead of our time already. With a farm at our origin, we were able to provide day laborers with work in the brewery even in winter, thus guaranteeing them a meal ticket. But that’s as far as staff is concerned.
We have also taken new initiatives over the years in relation to the environment, whether it’s raw materials such as water or hops, or CO2 reduction or energy measures, we’ve actually been working sustainably for almost 150 years!
Around 1900, the purchase of a so-called Berieslungs Kühler saved hot water and shortly after the war we realized another 20% savings by again investing in new cooling technologies. At the same time, 10% less coal could deliver the same production. From the 1970s, still long before the environment was high on the agendas of politicians and businesses, we have taken enormous steps, such as the construction of a natural water purification system in 1970 and the optimization of our brewing house in 1980, resulting in a 20% energy gain. In addition, we reduced our CO2 purchases by 50% through efficient reuse during production.
We firstly cultivated the barley ourselves and, at a later stage, also vermouth. The bostel, i.e. the brewing waste, is still used as livestock feed. At the beginning of the last century, Henri Meens carried out tests to plant hops in the hills around Thull. Unfortunately, the hops produced were of insufficient quality and the tests were seen as unsuccessful and stopped.
We are always looking for more sustainable methods and ways to reuse. In 2013, we came in second in a benchmark study on energy-efficient medium-sized breweries – In all of Europe! Among all medium-sized breweries throughout Europe, we have been one of the most sustainable ones in the field of energy for some time now.
In 2015, we switched to 100% renewable energy and, by adjusting our rinsing machine, we saved even more on energy and water consumption. In our eyes, sustainability is the efficient use of natural, raw materials and the realization that we are to treat both people and the environment with the utmost respect.
Below you will see a number of highlights in realized measures in the area ofsustainability over the years with, if applicable, their respective reduction or environmental impact compared to before.
YEAR & SAVINGs
about 1900 Purchase of a Berieselungs Kühler approx. 5% on hot water
ca. 1913 Test with own hop cultivation by Henri Meens
ca. 1953 Purchase a plate cooler approx. 20% on hot water
1953 Economiser avant la lettre about 10% on coal
1970 Own natural water purification system
1980 Optimization of the brewing house about 20% energy gain
1980 Structural use of frequency converters
1985 Recovery of CO2 through reuse approx. 50% less purchase of CO2
1990 Optimization of steam boiler; reduction of pressure approx. 10% energy gain
1995 Optimization of cooling equipment of two devices approx. 10% electricity saved
2000 Optimization of compressed air of two devices rotary compressor approx. 3% electricity saved
2003 Energy saving research
2005 Malting purchase at regional malting transport costs at supplier
2013 Europe’s second most energy-efficient medium-sized brewery according to benchmark research
2013 LED lighting in production halls approx. 2% electricity saved
2014 Replacement of outdoor lighting of catering businesses by LED approx. 65% electricity saved
2014 Continuous monitoring of business processes (‘measuring = knowing’) approx. 3% energy saved
2015 Purchasing of 100% green energy
2015 Adjustment of rinsing machine approx. 5% energy and 40% water saved
2017 LED lighting in offices approx. 2% electricity saved
2018 Production of a new bottle that requires less glass about 5% glass saved