Columbia Brewery has reduced its water consumption by 32 per cent since 2005, said Jeff Ryan on Tuesday, which was World Water Day.
“For all Labatt breweries water is a primary focus,” said Ryan, Labatt Breweries director of corporate affairs. “Our conservation efforts are driven not only by costs and operating efficiencies but also because it makes a better world. Water is a finite resource and an integral part of the brewing process.
“Our global dream is to be the best brewing company in the world and also the best brewing company in a better world.”
Ryan said Labatt Breweries has an obligation to take care of the environment “wherever we have a brewery.”
“A lot of our initiatives are driven by employees,” he said.
In Creston, employees formed competing teams to scout the entire brewery for water leaks, environmental, health and safety compliance manager Tanya Ducharme said on Tuesday.
“We’ve also been having a no-shaving contest for the last 22 days,” she said. “Men have been growing beards and women haven’t been shaving their legs. It’s fun, but it also helps raise awareness of the many ways we waste water. We do everything we can to get people thinking about how to conserve our most precious resource.”
Labatt Breweries across Canada have reduced water consumption by 41 per cent, or two billion litres, in the last five years, Ryan said.
“That’s the equivalent of 430 Olympic size swimming pools,” he said. “In Creston, that means about 46 swimming pools. …
“We want people to know that when they pick up a Kokanee that their beer is produced responsibly.”
Ryan cited Creston as being a leader when it comes to beer bottle returns.
“Creston’s return rate for beer bottles is in the high 90 per cent range,” he said. “Each bottle is used an average of 20 times, then it is crushed and recycled to make more glass.”
World Water Day is meant to bring awareness about water and wasting water, while encouraging individuals to reduce water use around the world.