An organic microbrewer from Devon is one of five finalists for a prestigious award recognising ‘Heroes in Net Zero’ and will travel to the climate talks in Glasgow next week for the ceremony.
Barnaby’s Brewhouse, based in Staverton, south Devon, has been nominated for its pioneering innovations in capturing C02 from its natural fermentation process, meaning it can avoid buying it as a by-product from other industries, where it is a product of fossil fuel burning.
A second project nominated under the award is a balanced energy system at the brewery headquarters, which allows it to generate electricity and direct energy to where it is needed in the brewing process.
It comes as C02 made the headlines recently as a vital ingredient for many food and drinks manufacturers, while the synthetic fertiliser companies that make the majority of the gas were brought into the foreground.
The prize of £4,500 will include consultancy and mentoring services for the winning businesses, but co-founder of Barnaby’s, Barnaby Harris, said the main incentive to enter was to share their innovation with others.
Harris said: “After what has been a very difficult year and a half for businesses like ours in the hospitality sector, being a Hero of Net Zero is a huge shot in the arm for us.
“We feel it has validated the hard work we have put into taking an innovative approach to truly sustainable, carbon-neutral, production and to focus on local markets. We are delighted because this will help us to fast track the development of our own innovations as well as inspire others to seek out new and more environmentally friendly ways of doing business.”
CO2 is one of the biggest increasing costs being reported by brewers, with prices rising by anywhere from 73 to 215 per cent alongside up to four week delays in supply.
“Our technology should make small brewers independent in this respect,” said Harris.
The Heroes of Net Zero competition was created by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to celebrate the small businesses taking innovative action to go green and cut their own greenhouse gas emissions to become a net zero business by 2050.
Net zero is the term when emissions are reduced as much as possible, and the remainder is in some way offset or compensated for, such as by producing renewable energy, planting trees or other activities that actively remove additional carbon.
Entrants were asked to explain how they had reduced emissions, and how they will reach net zero by 2050. Judges were impressed by the company, set up by Harris and co-founder Tim Stacey, and its aim to be carbon neutral from day one, by running effectively off-grid and avoiding carbon debt (accrued in prior emissions from things like stainless steel) through building with reclaimed stone and using second-hand stainless steel tanks and pipework.