Bench Brewing Looks to the Future as They Reach Carbon Neutrality

Project Type

Carbon Neutral Certification


Beamsville, Ontario

Impact by the numbers.


tonnes of Scope 1 CO2e reduced


tonnes of Scope 3 CO2e reduced


total heat reduction


overall reduction in emissions between 2019 and 2020


Climate Smart Service

Climate Smart Certification, 2019 — 2020


Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation


Beamsville, ON, Canada

About Bench Brewing

Bench Brewing is a Belgian-inspired farmhouse brewery located on 8 acres of farmland in Niagara’s beautiful Twenty Valley. Our brewery is situated in the Town of Lincoln, right in the heart of the region’s rural but sophisticated wine region. Bench’s home in the Twenty Valley is blessed with some of Ontario’s finest agricultural land with orchards, vineyards, and produce farms that provide the ideal location for making premium quality beer which reflects our local terroir.

The Challenge

After completing their first Climate Smart Inventory, Bench Brewing realized that their two biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions were from the release of industrial refrigerants and heating. In the middle of their sustainability journey, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns happened. This led to other challenges, including shutting down their taproom operations, transferring non-brewing staff to working from home, and significant increases in beer deliveries.

Going Climate Smart

Sustainable practices weren’t new to Bench Brewing when they joined Climate Smart. As a brewery, one of the main inputs into their process is water, most of which ends up going down the drain. Bench recognized that they could reuse their water as irrigation for their 3 acre hop farm. They also send all their waste barley and grains to local farmers to use as animal feed.
Bench Brewing came to Climate Smart for support in achieving their B Corp designation, and once they began their Climate Smart journey, their sustainability goals grew to include becoming a recognized sustainability leader in the brewing industry and gaining their Carbon Neutral certification.

The Results

Carbon Neutrality. Bench Brewing used the first year of the Climate Smart program to become a Certified B Corporation and using that forward momentum, agreed to be the first business certified under the new Climate Smart Carbon Neutral Certification. After completing their second inventory, Bench submitted a reduction plan, and purchased carbon offsets for their outstanding emissions, officially reaching carbon neutrality. Bench Brewing felt it was very important to take responsibility for their impact up and down their supply chain. This included measuring emissions from their third-party cold storage, warehouse, and shipping providers, as well as measuring the plastic wrap and shrink film. These steps inspired Bench Brewing to make a further commitment beyond what is required from Climate Smart training. Their strive to improve their emissions measurement and accounting for an increasing number of activities, plus a team driven to further their sustainability practices, gave them the motivation and follow through to earn their Carbon Neutral Certification.

"Carbon neutral is an extremely exciting achievement, particularly for a brewery, and one of our size. We want to pave the way for others in the brewing industry, so we can work to becoming greener as a whole."

Matt Giffen, Founder

How they did it

To start their Climate Smart journey and grow their sustainability culture, Bench Brewing engaged employees in ‘Green Team meetings’ to ensure everyone was involved in the big picture. These monthly meetings focused on identifying ways to increase sustainability efforts, decrease their carbon footprint, and the internal communications that would accompany those efforts. It was important for Bench Brewing to include representatives from each functional areas in their Green Team meetings, to collect ideas from all operational viewpoints, and to ensure each team feels responsible for the green initiatives and outcomes.
Bench Brewing’s first Climate Smart Inventory in 2019 revealed that Bench had a large leak of refrigerant, which are exponentially more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Heating at their locations was also a significant source of emissions. To reduce their emissions, Bench implemented regular maintenance schedules for their boiler and commercial refrigerators to help prevent future releases and leaks. Bench Brewing also took responsibility for their impact up and down their supply chain, including: - measuring emissions from their third-party cold storage, warehouse, and shipping providers - measuring the plastic wrap and shrink film that is used in packaging their beer when sent to customers - Reduce emissions from heavy supplies (barley, bottles, etc.) deliveries by getting larger amounts delivered in fewer trips

After measuring their emissions activities for two years, Bench Brewing reduced what was possible internally and throughout their supply chain but recognized the need to purchase carbon offsets to account for the remainder of the emissions they couldn’t reduce. They turned to Radicle to offset the remainder of their GHG inventory.
Through Radicle, Bench Brewing purchased offsets from the Pavagada Solar Renewable Power Project in India, the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary REDD+ Project in Cambodia, and the Burn Stoves Project in Kenya. This blend of projects contributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With the purchase of these carbon offsets through Radicle, Bench Brewing officially earned their Carbon Neutral Certification.

What's next for Bench Brewing Company

The sustainability journey doesn’t stop at Carbon Neutrality for Bench Brewing. They plan to maintain their Carbon Neutral status year after year and continue reducing emissions even further through: - Adopting EV/hybrid delivery vehicles - Sourcing biodegradable options for shrink wrap, which is a high use item for Bench

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