Progress on sustainability at Tree House

SHORT VERSION

True to our founding principles, Tree House Brewing Company will reduce its carbon footprint annually by 21,668 metric tons C02 (equivalent to 4,639 standard automobiles) through a big investment in renewable energy & industry leading wastewater treatment. Tree House is extremely efficient with water use, and this investment will make it even more so. We care deeply about - and are investing heavily in - long term sustainability and environmentally responsible business practices, with a specific focus on renewable power and agrarian support. Green is good :)

LONG VERSION

Tree House Brewing Company believes deeply in long-term sustainability and contributing positively to society through responsible business practices and the implementation of cutting edge, environmentally friendly technological systems in our brewery. In our founding principles, first contemplated seven years ago, we pledged to “invest for the long haul [and] kill shortsightedness” and to “respect the environment”.  With those principles in mind, we have some news we are quite pleased to share with you.

In early 2016, Tree House Brewing Company (Tree House) met with the Charlton Sewer Commission requesting a sewer tie-in as part of our planned greenfield brewery project. At said meeting Tree House projected wastewater flows for 2017, 2018, and 2019 and presented the Commission with hard data pertaining to anticipated wastewater constituents - projections that have proven to be in line with actual field tested data since commissioning. Following this meeting Tree House and the Charlton Sewer Commission continued to work cooperatively for more than a year to establish a comprehensive Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the discharge of brewery wastewater into the Charlton Wastewater Treatment Plant. As part of the Memorandum, Tree House pledged to reduce the strength of its wastewater within two years to below that of standard household levels, and by our own volition, we are taking that pledge even further.

We are pleased to announce that as of December 2018 we have committed to a partnership with Cambrian Innovation, based in Watertown, Massachusetts, to install their EcoVolt Reactor and EcoVolt Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) at Tree House in Charlton.

What does this technology do?

The EcoVolt Reactor combined with the EcoVolt MBR will reduce typical brewery contaminants and pollutants in our wastewater stream by 99.9% rendering water that is suitable for re-use in irrigation and sanitation systems. In addition, the Cambrian process generates renewable energy, making our water re-use treatment system an energy positive generator. This will reduce Tree House’s water to beer ratio to 2:1 - (2 gallons of water needed to produce 1 gallon of beer) - an industry-leading number that would not be possible without several advanced sustainable technology investments made by Tree House over the last year.

Candidly, the process of brewing in the absence of advanced sustainable technological systems has a significant impact on the environment; raw material use, transportation, utilities, and wastewater all contribute to a brewery’s carbon footprint. As a leader in the industry, Tree House is investing heavily on multiple fronts to combat this. To that end, the EcoVolt Reactor and MBR will help us remove up to 21,668 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere every year, equivalent to 4,639 standard automobiles. If we were to rely on traditional technologies for processing our waste stream, this CO2 would find its way into the atmosphere.

In addition to this installation, Tree House has a program in place to send our solid organic waste to an anaerobic digester in Hadley, Massachusetts operated by Vanguard Renewables. The digester is located on Longview Farm, one of the longest continuously running dairy farms in New England. Longview has been owned and operated by the Barstow Family for over 200 years. The digester uses our waste, along with the waste of twelve different food suppliers, to create renewable biogas and free electricity for the farm. This reduces the carbon footprint of our solid organic waste by up to 85%. Further, the byproduct of digestion is a clean, odorless, high-value fertilizer that increases crop yields and significantly reduces costs for the farm. Our contribution, in conjunction with Vanguard’s digester, has helped the farm remain viable and productive in the midst of a challenging environment for dairy farmers.

These investments join a number of others already made or in the works, all with the aim to maintain a sustainable future for our guests, employees, and future generations, including generating our own electricity, multiple free electric car charging stations, careful land stewardship, tree planting initiatives, and much, much, more.

A careful, responsible approach to growth and day to day operations is deeply important to us; an approach that considers our impact, and what we can do to offset it or mitigate it completely. Here’s to a Greener future for Tree House. :)

Thank you for reading.

-nate

For a recent update on now in-progress improvements to the Tree House experience, please see here. More to come. Soon.