Beer Environmental Policy Question 1

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Question

Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified raw materials for at least XX% of its volume?

  • Dutch version: Maakt het merk (bedrijf) gebruik van biologische of anderszins milieu-gecertificeerde grondstoffen voor tenminste XX% van het totale volume?
  • German version: Verarbeitet der Markenhersteller mindestens zu XX% umweltzertifizierte Rohwaren für das gesamte Produktionsvolumen der Marke?

Reference

This question asks for environmentally certified raw materials, here meaning the non-water ingredients of beer. This question encourages brands to make use of ingredients produced in a clearly more environmentally friendly way than conventional. Fairfood mentions several environmental problems related to ingredients of beer such as barley. This Treehugger article suggests that the ingredients production has a considerable environmental impact on the life cycle of beer.

The certifications that we have found in the Dutch and German market, and consider credible and therefore eligible are:

  • Organic certification, see e.g. EU Guidelines on organic production and labelling of organic products. Dutch top-10 brand Gulpener has one product in its range with an EKO label (which is the Dutch sign for organic). Other smaller brands like Brouwerij 't IJ have this for the full 100%. Also Mongozo has one organic product in its range.
  • Naturland and Bioland certification, see e.g. Neumarkter Lammsbräu.
  • Milieukeur certification [1], again found on all the products of Dutch top-10 brand Gulpener.
  • Fairtrade certification [2]. This certification also covers some basic environmental criteria. Four out of five Mongozo beers are fairtrade certified.
  • Volet Vert of Agriconfiance, as audited by Afnor. This is a French environmental management system that is based on ISO14000. This management system does not imply clear environmental criteria or performance levels, but at least the farmsystem is certified and environmental aspects are closely monitored.

Not -yet eligible to this question:

  • De Veldleeuwerik. Although there are many similarities to the Volet Vert / Agriconfiance system, clear system requirements or independent audits do not seem part of this initiative yet. We will follow developments of this sympathetic initiative and change our eligibility status accordingly.

The list of eligible environmental certifications may further expand as we rank more brands and may find more initiatives.

Ranking guidelines

A ‘Yes’ is applicable when:

  • The brand/company states that it uses [_%] environmentally certified raw materials for its entire production.

A ‘No’ is applicable when:

  • The brand/company states explicitly that the do not use any environmentally certified raw materials in its production process

A ‘?’ is applicable when:

  • The brand/company does not mention use of environmentally certified raw materials for its product range on their website.

Answering guidelines

Answer Yes:

  • [Brand] uses environmentally certified raw materials ingredients to [_%] of its entire production.
  • [Brand] has […USDA NOP, EU Organic] certification for [_%] of its entire production.

Answer No:

  • [Brand] explicitly says not to [...] (see link/page)

Answer ?:

  • [Brand] does not communicate any information about use of environmentally certified raw materials in its product(s), if there is any, on its website. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.