Oregon Brewery Implements Sustainable Supply Chain Strategies
A popular Bend, Oregon-based brewery, Deschutes Brewery, is working hard to introduce sustainable supply chain methodologies to the brewing industry, according to The Portland Business Journal. Beginning in January, Deschutes has forwarded along extensive questionnaires to its various suppliers as part of a boarder effort to make Deschutes a leader in sustainable supply chain strategies amongst breweries in the U.S.
As the article notes, Deschutes is already a highly lauded and recognized sustainable brewer. For example, the brewery recharges the Deschutes River with billions of gallons’ worth of freshwater on an annual basis. A large percentage of the hops that the brewery purchases and uses for its beer come from producers that use drip irrigation, minimal pesticides, and are also certified salmon-safe (a major plus for the salmon-rich Pacific Northwest). According to Mary Hangartner, the purchasing manager for the brewery, the company achieved a 65 percent response rate from 100 of their suppliers. So far, only 20 percent of the respondents were considered by Deschutes to be “high risk,” or in other words, minimally sustainable. These high-risk suppliers often work with unsustainable materials and manufacturing processes, like glass bottle manufacturing.
Overall, 53 percent of those suppliers that responded are now classified by Deschutes as being medium-to-high risk. Deschutes is currently in the process of addressing how to create a more sustainable supply chain, and Hangartner is working closely with the company’s suppliers to help them become more environmentally friendly. “My initial goal, if nothing else, it to let the suppliers know this is something we really care about and we want to talk about and work on [it],” she said. Once they acquire a sustainable supply chain, the company hopes to set an example for other breweries in Oregon and throughout the U.S.
Sustainability, and in particular supply chain sustainability, is a priority for a wide range of companies, ranging from mega corporations like Unilever to popular local breweries like Deschutes. If you work with a company that’s interested in investing in supply chain sustainability, then consider contacting Good360. We help top firms, ranging from UPS to Williams-Sonoma, achieve greater sustainability within their respective business models. To learn more, click here.