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Ohio EPA Director Recognizes Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Exceptional Environmental Stewardship
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler is honoring the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland today with a flag-raising event to bring to the fore its many achievements as environmental stewards in its community. The company has achieved gold-level recognition in Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program.
Director Butler said, “Great Lakes Brewing Company is finding ways to utilize waste grain feedstock as animal feed, soil amendment or to provide flavor in special brewpub products, keeping 620,000 tons of what would have been waste out of our landfills. Businesses with this type of innovative thinking are changing the way we do business in Ohio, making it a better place to live.”
Ohio EPA’s E3 program recognizes businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and is an incentive for companies to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. E3 recognition has four levels: Achievement, Silver, Gold and the newest Platinum level.
Great Lakes Brewing Company shows stewardship in many ways, including retrofitting its century-old buildings with a solar thermal system, radiant heat floors, and a straw bale wall bringing about 6 percent energy savings annually, despite 91 percent growth over five years. The company operates “The Fatty Wagon,” a multi-passenger van and shuttle service that runs on vegetable oil produced in the Brewpub, saving 500 pounds of diesel fuel each year. The company also sponsors the annual Burning River Fest with a focus on protecting Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River as the fresh water resource the company uses to brew beer. The $108,000 raised at this year’s Burning River Fest will be used to help revitalize the Coast Guard Station as a center for environmental education and public recreation.
The company continues to explore new ways to save energy. It just started installing a 20.1 kW solar installation that will produce 21,268 kW per year or enough electricity to produce 16,000 cases of beer.
To obtain recognition for stewardship, an organization can work through levels of recognition including Achievement at the base level; Silver Level recognizing outstanding accomplishments in environmental stewardship; and Gold Level recognizing comprehensive environmental stewardship programs. The new Platinum Level recognizes organizations that have expanded their environmental programs beyond their own facility to make a positive impact on the surrounding community. All levels require a commitment to meet or exceed environmental regulatory requirements.
Through the E3 program, Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention helps businesses receive recognition for environmental stewardship efforts. Nominations for the 2017 awards cycle will continue to be accepted through Oct. 14, 2016. To learn more about the E3 program and the nomination process, visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioe3.aspx or contact Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.