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Drinking locally: The implications, from a sustainability perspective, of emerging Belgian microbreweries

Jacques, Florian (2015) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN41 20151
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
In similarity to other European countries and the USA, Belgium, has been facing an emergence of microbreweries in the last decade. However, given the environmental footprint and, particularly, the water footprint of beer as well as the fact that microbreweries can sometimes lag behind in energy efficiency or water usage, it is worth considering the sustainability implications of this trend. The sample of visited breweries reflects the variety, in beer volumes and geographic dispersion, of the Belgian beer sector. The data analysis is framed by a three-pillared approach to sustainability and guided by the concept of Natural Resource Accounting and Maintenance Social Sustainability, respectively, to answer the questions pertaining to the... (More)
In similarity to other European countries and the USA, Belgium, has been facing an emergence of microbreweries in the last decade. However, given the environmental footprint and, particularly, the water footprint of beer as well as the fact that microbreweries can sometimes lag behind in energy efficiency or water usage, it is worth considering the sustainability implications of this trend. The sample of visited breweries reflects the variety, in beer volumes and geographic dispersion, of the Belgian beer sector. The data analysis is framed by a three-pillared approach to sustainability and guided by the concept of Natural Resource Accounting and Maintenance Social Sustainability, respectively, to answer the questions pertaining to the environmental performance and the local culture dimensions of microbreweries.

It was observed, by comparing small- and large-scale breweries that there are differences in water consumption. Usually, higher beer volumes suggest lower water consumption levels per litre of beer produced. This can be attributed to differences in cleaning procedures, water treatment and recycling. Breweries also have varying reusing practices. The research concludes that it is important, from an early stage for breweries to embrace a holistic approach towards water consumption and waste generation in their facility. This, in turn, can contribute to breweries’ resilience and the sustainability of brewing activities, especially in light of the growing numbers of microbreweries whose aim is to satisfy the demand for a local product. (Less)
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author
Jacques, Florian
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Sustainable Beer Brewing, Cleaner Production, Pollution Prevention, Resource Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Microbreweries
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2015:30
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8054424
date added to LUP
2015-10-13 08:39:03
date last changed
2015-10-13 08:39:03
@misc{8054424,
  abstract     = {In similarity to other European countries and the USA, Belgium, has been facing an emergence of microbreweries in the last decade. However, given the environmental footprint and, particularly, the water footprint of beer as well as the fact that microbreweries can sometimes lag behind in energy efficiency or water usage, it is worth considering the sustainability implications of this trend. The sample of visited breweries reflects the variety, in beer volumes and geographic dispersion, of the Belgian beer sector. The data analysis is framed by a three-pillared approach to sustainability and guided by the concept of Natural Resource Accounting and Maintenance Social Sustainability, respectively, to answer the questions pertaining to the environmental performance and the local culture dimensions of microbreweries.

It was observed, by comparing small- and large-scale breweries that there are differences in water consumption. Usually, higher beer volumes suggest lower water consumption levels per litre of beer produced. This can be attributed to differences in cleaning procedures, water treatment and recycling. Breweries also have varying reusing practices. The research concludes that it is important, from an early stage for breweries to embrace a holistic approach towards water consumption and waste generation in their facility. This, in turn, can contribute to breweries’ resilience and the sustainability of brewing activities, especially in light of the growing numbers of microbreweries whose aim is to satisfy the demand for a local product.},
  author       = {Jacques, Florian},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Sustainable Beer Brewing,Cleaner Production,Pollution Prevention,Resource Efficiency,Water Efficiency,Microbreweries},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Drinking locally: The implications, from a sustainability perspective, of emerging Belgian microbreweries},
  year         = {2015},
}