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Green Project Implementation Award Winner Feature

November 14, 2022

Written by Nima Abbaszadeh, Western Community Engaged Learning Student with Green Economy London

The Green Project Implementation Award recognizes a member who has implemented project(s) at their facility that are inspirational, educational, effective (or all of the above) that relates to reducing the environmental impacts of their organization. Charlotteville Brewing is the 2022 Green Project Implementation Award winner for their efforts in increasing the sustainability of their operations.

Charlotteville Brewing began with a goal to be as ecological as possible. Melanie and John Doerksen grew up in the Carolinian forest area and both had agricultural-based jobs. When they started their company, they had a deep respect for the environment and a desire to preserve the biodiversity of the region, and this goal has translated into every aspect of their business. They work with community groups such as Alternative Land Use Services and Longpoint Biosphere for conservation invitations in the Norfolk community and at the brewery.

When I interviewed Melanie, she told me about all the sustainable practices at the brewery. All kitchen scraps are composted, and that compost is carefully weighed and tracked so that they can understand how much waste is being diverted. They have installed energy efficient appliances, LED lights, environmentally-friendly soaps, and recycle as much as possible.

LED lights are 100% recyclable and burn cooler when compared to incandescent bulbs, making them a great way to reduce a company’s environmental impact. They also can produce the same luminosity as an incandescent bulb while producing only 20% of the greenhouse gases, which greatly decreases the carbon emissions associated with running the brewery. 

Charlotteville Brewing has a profound impact on the community. The company’s practices serve as an inspiration for the Simcoe and London areas as an example that any company can operate sustainably and can promote environmental health. They have become a part of Carolinian Canada, an organization committed to preserving the biodiversity and health of the Carolinian forest ecosystems across Canada. Through this partnership, they have planted 10 cucumber magnolia trees (an at-risk species) and have started producing a beer using a native fruit, the pawpaw, and growing that plant on-site as well. Through these initiatives, they also serve to educate their community on sustainable initiatives by educating regular visitors to the brewery about sustainability.

In the future, they hope to put in an electric vehicle (EV) charger on-site and use an electric truck for delivery. Food transport generates lots of carbon emissions, and using electric vehicles helps reduce that load. EV chargers also promote the use of EVs in the public, again furthering their impact. They also plan to retrofit some of their older buildings, as some of their barns were built as far back as the 1860s. They intend to replace windows and doors to increase the energy efficiency of the facilities while still preserving the old look and feel of the buildings. 

Charlotteville Brewing was also featured in Norfolk Today. Check out that highlight here.

Thank you for implementing all these awesome sustainability initiatives Charlotteville Brewing!

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