It is now official. After much hard work Iron Springs has now become a Green Certified Business by the Marin County Community Development Agency. We now will continue to strive to operate the most Green friendly Brewpub that we possibly can.
What does this mean?
Green businesses practice resource efficiency and focus their operations on limiting their impact on the earth and its resources. A green business not only conserves resources but also educates employees and customers abut resource conservation.
As a Green Certified hospitality business we feel we are pioneers in our industry. Our program as an industry leader in sustainability and certified green business practices has been a part of Iron Spring’s mission statement since its inception in 2004, when Michael and Anne Altman brought their dream to Fairfax, CA and opened up Iron Springs Pub & Brewery as a community gathering spot that provides the finest award winning, hand crafted ales and affordable, healthy, locally grown food with the least amount of environmental impact. When evaluating our practices, we have looked at the entire building, which includes 5,000 sq. feet of restaurant space, 1,500 sq. feet of office space, a full scale commercial brewery, full service kitchen, and bar. We have had energy audits from PG&E, water audits from MMWD, and additional green consultants analyze our business practices and help us find ways to cut our energy and resource consumption. Through these reviews, we have been able to greatly reduce our environmental impact and footprint.
Running a brewery & Public House (Pub) involves many practices that have the ability to consume a plethora of energy and resources. We have taken critical steps to not only reduce our resource consumption, but also to use our business’s position as a community hub to share what we’ve learned with customers, the community, and the industry; what we have accomplished and why we feel it is important, as well as what we plan & strive for in the future.
In 2008, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery was voted one of the top ten Green Business in the Bay Area by Thimmakka. Please view these articles to read more about this achievement:
As stated above, we have met all requirements for a Marin County Certified Green Business. This was an enormous step especially considering the constraints of working within such an old, tired building.
Iron Springs has a dedicated Chief of Sustainability, Jeffrey Kroop, who is responsible for educating the entire staff as well as the community on the pub’s standards. Through Jeff’s leadership, we have implemented an aggressive green purchasing program that includes:
- The use of corn based bio-degradable products for all carry-out containers, straws, & utensils.
- Environmentally friendly cleaning products
- The use of laundered linens in place of paper napkins.
- Separation all of recyclable waste (paper, plastic, glass and aluminum) throughout the building.
Another area where Iron Springs provides leadership in the sustainable brewpub operations is in the brewery itself. The brewery is a production facility that produces over 31,000 gallons of beer annually, and the potential for environmental impact from a brewery operation is great due to the large waste stream that comes from making beer. Therefore, some of Iron Springs’ proudest environmental achievements are in the brewery. The brewery is able to recycle approximately 90% of all its brewery waste. All of the spent grain that goes into the brewing process goes to a local farmer to be used for cattle & hog feed, while all hop flowers are sent to a compost pile at a local ranch. We take great care as to what we are putting down into our drains so as not to tax our cities municipalities system. We also control BOD, TSS, & PH levels as much as possible and keep our levels in any graywater discharged below industry norm.
Since 2004, Mike Altman has been speaking about the brewery waste stream and effluent discharge & wastewater treatment at the premier industry conference, the Craft Brewers Conference. Mike has been educating fellow industry members about our best practices, the importance of monitoring wastewater & effluent discharge from breweries, the brewpub waste stream as a whole, and the ways and means to stay above industry norm & standards. Our goal is to raise awareness and educate the industry on solutions and methods to show that you can run a low carbon footprint, environmentally conscious business, in a practical, affordable manner. http://www.craftbrewersconference.com/speakers.html