KANSAS CITY, MO — Installing solar panels, transforming itself into a zero-landfill facility, and investing in an electric vehicle (EV) charging station are just some of the latest ways Kansas City’s hometown brewery is expressing its commitment to the environment.
While the timing of these projects aligns with Earth Day, the practice of sustainability is an everyday event at Boulevard.
“Anyone who knows John McDonald, our founder and president, is aware of his common sense commitment to Mother Nature,” said Jeff Krum, Boulevard’s chief financial officer. “He has a keen sense of the delicate balance of life, and a rural kid’s instinctive affinity for conservation, waste minimization, and environmental preservation.”
Establishing zero-landfill status was the first major objective achieved by Boulevard’s BREW (Brewery Resource Efficiency Workgroup) team. The last trash dumpster was removed from the brewery in January. Now, most “waste” is recycled with local companies (including Ripple Glass, formed by Boulevard employees in 2009), composted, or, in the case of the company’s spent grain, fed to cattle.
The little material that remains is used by a local cement manufacturer as an alternative fuel source. This week, the company will begin to generate some of its own electricity as it completes the installation of an array of solar panels atop its green roof, and will flip the switch on a public EV charging station, just the fifth such port in Greater Kansas City.
But the BREW team is already working on new ideas.
“For example, we constantly assess water usage throughout different phases of the brewing process,” said Mike Utz, Boulevard’s Director of Engineering. “Our team recently pinpointed a few key spots where consumption can be materially reduced, so we’re making immediate changes in those areas.”
Boulevard credits its success in matters of environmental responsibility to a philosophy that calls for empowering the people who use the equipment and work in the facility on a daily basis. The company takes pride in its role as a local leader in sustainability, and plans to continue to push the envelope of environmental excellence.