Boston, MA- The University of Massachusetts Boston and its Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness (SERC) have received a two-year $350,000 pollution prevention grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help craft breweries across the Massachusetts to implement environmentally responsible business practices.
Led by Vesela Veleva, a UMass Boston professor and director of SERC, the project will provide free pollution prevention advice to breweries and other craft beverage producers while documenting best practices, creating case studies and providing other forms of technical assistance. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, a portfolio of resources will be created and shared so that effective strategies and models can be replicated and adopted across the industry to help brewers reduce costs and improve recognition of the brand.
Chosen for its cooperative nature and community-driven culture, the craft beverage sector demonstrates a willingness to embrace sustainability measures. To encourage this trend, the SERC project will assess brewery operations and processes to help participating companies qualify for the grant’s “Green Brewery Recognition Program”. The assessment will come with recommendations on energy consumption, water use, use of toxic chemicals, and solid waste generation to help them meet industry-established efficiency criteria. .
By becoming more efficient, companies also reduce the “downstream” costs associated with waste management, treatment and disposal. The goal is to prevent pollution from occurring in the first place so that air emissions, sewage discharges, landfills or waste incineration, and even recycling are less necessary.
To help coordinate this effort, UMass Boston hired project manager Rob Vandenabeele, an industry expert and environmental advocate who co-founded Mass. Brew Bros. and then launched EcoFriendyBeer.com, two leading online resources for breweries and eco-friendly beer. passionate.
Other partnerships include the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) and others who will help conduct site visits and provide recommendations.
UMass Boston will also leverage graduate and undergraduate business and environmental science students to provide research for projects that focus on sustainability and how to use the Brewers Association’s benchmarking tools ( BA). They will also be involved in a variety of other supporting roles as part of their experience and preparation to become future leaders.
The grant program, made possible by President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act and his historic $100 million appropriation to the EPA, is part of a regional collaboration to recognize environmentally conscious breweries in the New England in various ways, including a map of “green drink producers”.
Craft beverage producers interested in obtaining free technical assistance by participating in the program should contact Project Manager Rob Vandenabeele via email at [email protected]
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