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IMPACT REPORT: BEHIND THE BREWERY DOORS

Clem Elphick, BBF's Head of Brand, gives us the ‘Who? Why? How?’ on the 2022/23 Impact Report.

Hey Clem! We’ve been talking a lot about the Impact Report, both online and in the brewery. This is an intensely informative document, freely available to read online. Why should someone open it up?

The truth is this Impact Report is a space that represents everything this brewery strives for - where the passion and drive comes from, alongside a transparent view of where we are strong but also importantly, where we are weak.

The contents are real, it’s tangible, a marker in the sand - it's worth a read… 

Let’s be clear. You made this happen! What was the first step towards getting it off the ground?

Every department in this iconic Bristol brewery takes a serious amount of pride in what they do - a lot of teams working independently on brilliant initiatives that either deliver locally, maintain quality or give directly back to Bristol in the form of Brewed to Give. My role was to make this document a landing zone for all this hard work, a space to allow our stakeholders to see the effort that goes into every pint. Helping us show drinkers why drinking independent is the correct path: Drink with Purpose.

Credit to every BBF department, they got onboard immediately and brought their talents and pride to this report.

How did you collate the information from all these departments? There’s probably good reason we’re among the first Bristol breweries to do an impact report.

Teamwork, but also bringing in external teams such as Zevero who are a brewery specific platform that measures our entire carbon footprint. Data is everything in these spheres, it allows us to make informed decisions with budget and new equipment purchases to ensure money is spent in the most effective way.

Why did you want to analyse our impact in such a black and white way – for all to see? Again, other breweries might not be doing this in case it opens the doors to criticism…

For sure, I understand why not many breweries have released a report that is this transparent, it is a large investment in time and budget. Furthermore, as a manufacturer, the carbon impact is always a pretty terrifying iceberg, you just don’t know how much is below the surface before you dive in.

For BBF, it had to be completely transparent and honest. I feel that so long as honesty is one of the foundations of such a report people will respond positively. What we’re saying is we’re working hard but we're far from perfect, stick with us and we will get there.

Also, you can see through fake news in this modern age. For me, tick boxing and greenwashing is almost more damaging than not releasing anything at all.

The report covers everything from beer ingredients to staff happiness to charity donations. Was there anything you were nervous to look at? Any surprises, perhaps?

There was a real surprise in the data - as a manufacturer we knew our biggest carbon emitter would be our ingredients, but not one of us was ready for it to be over 52% of our total emissions.

This is a huge number and will form a key focus for the next few years. As a brewery that produces all our own beer we have direct relationships with the farmers, we can therefore be a part of the solution, help to find ways to reduce the impact of farming and work with groups that are pioneering new technologies.

The Impact Report arrived as we head into our 20th year as a brewery. What does the future, for example the next 20 years, look like for BBF?

Let’s say the next 26 years as every company on this fine Isle legally needs to be operating at Net Zero by 2050... That is something that has really energised me recently. Businesses can act faster than government; they can lead the charge because our customers care deeply about it. That’s true of BBF fans and our team, too.

We have a low staff turnover but we are growing so I want to attract the best talent possible to work at BBF. You can be damn sure the best talent will care about sustainability and the future. To bring in the right recruits, any company is going to have to be working hard on that front.

Sustainability means looking much further ahead than most sales forecasts. The next 26 years look exciting because people will still be able to STAND INDEPENDENT and enjoy beer that is BREWED TO GIVE and you can DRINK WITH PURPOSE.

Our Impact report locks in these words and what they mean.

Please do read if you have 10 mins spare - grab a cold can and dive deep into the tanks.

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