A craft brewery based in the town of Darling in the Western Cape, has officially been declared as Africa’s first carbon neutral brewery.

The brewery, known as Darling Brew, is expected to offset a total of 687.96 tons of CO2 over the next year. This will be equivalent to having eliminated the same amount of carbon from the environment as 17 829 tree seedlings having grown for 10 years.

In order to become Africa’s first carbon neutral brewery, the brewery has calculated its carbon footprint by means of a greenhouse gas audit. This carbon footprint is then offset through impactChoice, a provider of end-to-end environmental sustainability solutions, who also ensure the emissions are offset via responsible carbon capturing and reduction projects.

Reducing water and energy consumption

“It’s not about doing what we like with our operations and just offsetting our impact,” says Kevin Wood, owner and founder of Darling Brew, “It’s about our commitment to continuously reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible whilst using the offsetting process as a way of further redressing our impact.”

In order to ensure that the brewery is reducing its impact, Darling Brew has teamed up with sustainability consultants Ecolution Consulting who, in addition to guiding the brewery through the carbon offsetting process, are working with Darling Brew to reduce the water and energy consumption, as well as the brewery’s waste to landfill percentage.

Tracking and reducing consumption

“We are identifying short and long-term strategies to ensure that Darling Brew continues to travel further along their sustainability journey,” says André Harms, sustainability engineer and founder of Ecolution Consulting. “This started with the procedure of tracking and recording consumption and waste data to ensure that real progress is being made.”

The brewery has recently taken to openly and prominently displaying the month to month statistics on their water, waste, energy and carbon use in the hopes of including Darling Brew’s patrons in the journey and spreading awareness.

“We are excited to progress on this journey,” says Kevin Wood. “Going carbon neutral is a massive step for us, but certainly not the last.”