News : Redhook Brewery: A Company Dedicated to Environmental Stewardship, Social Responsibility, and Employee Wellness and Health

Nov 5, 2013

Published in the Portsmouth Patch, Exeter Patch, and Hampton-North Hampton Patch on November 5th, 2013.

BY MEGHAN CURTIS
Green Alliance Writer

—PORTSMOUTH — Social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and providing employees with a reliable wellness program, are all part of Redhook Brewery’s business practices. It is visible from the outside and from the inside that these ideas are not just ideas, but are the underlying framework that makes Redhook the successful, consistent, and incomparable local brewery that it truly is.

In recent years, craft brews have come to be part of many people’s meal. Whether they come from a bottle, a tap, or a can, these beloved beers are entering restaurants, homes, and stores at a startling rate. Redhook Brewery, first established in the West Coast, has become a local icon of a sustainable brewery that involves all its employees in its efforts to reduce waste, recycle everything possible, and keep the workplace a fun, relaxing, and successful domain. This location, a source of microbrews to homes, businesses, and mouths through New England, has been doing so since 1996. With such a complex, and long history, it’s no wonder Redhook has thrived and will continue to thrive in a community that loves its robust and full-bodied beers.

Redhook Brewery is a business partner with the Green Alliance, a union of local sustainable businesses promoting environmentally sound business practices and a green co-op offering discounted green products and services to its members.

To read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch, click here

Click on these links: Exeter and Hampton-North Hampton Patches.

Across the board, Redhook is implementing practices and programs ensuring the business runs as smoothly as possible, with social responsibility being an essential element of this goal. As a new member of the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, Redhook’s commitment to its employees and the environment has become the vital organ, running the show.

One of the most important tenets of social responsibility is “an engaged and inspired workforce. In order to effectively address environmental and financial sustainability, successful businesses develop a working environment that encourages employees to think outside of the box produce the best possible product or service with the least environmental and social impact” Michelle Veasey, the executive director of NHBSR said.

These tenets are attained, and more so, are surpassed in the Redhook office, manufacturing line, and in the mixing room. It’s as if every person on Redhook’s team, whether he or she is at a desk in the office, running around the brewery fixing broken machines, or down at the Pub, ensuring fresh, delicious food is leaving the kitchen, is there to promise a healthy future for the environment. From the maintenance guys, who have endless projects, to the lone waitress in an afternoon shift, the concept of recycling is known, practiced, and promised. This is where Poly Recovery, and the recycling trifecta enter the story.

Redhook’s commitment to sustainability in every aspect of its business is truly noteworthy. Currently, the brewery operates at around a 99 percent divergent rate, with an expectation of reaching zero waste in the coming years. This unheard of waste management program is achieved through the interconnectedness of three different local businesses. Those being Redhook Brewery, Poly Recovery, and Foss Manufacturing. The plastic refuse that once filled the five dumpsters surrounding the brewery, are now sent one mile down the road to Poly Recovery. After the material is transformed into a wide spec regrind resin, it is then sent down the road — 11.8 miles to be exact — to Foss Manufacturing, where the resin is transformed into clothing, footwear, and carpeting, among other finished products. The collaboration, called “The Recycling Trifecta,” has become a model for others, and a monumental step in sustainable business practices.

Until this change over, a recycling program like this one had yet to exist. The more popular recycling program, of throwing waste into a bin, and hope its destination is, in fact, a recycling center, is all too common for most businesses. The issue facing recycling, at its most basic level, is the unknown, in terms of where the recycled goods are actually recycled. This issue no longer applies to Redhook.

Joe Thorner, the Redhook director of operations, took a look at the all-too-common recycling operation of zero traceability, and made a change. Upon being asked the daunting, yet all-too-important question of where the brewery’s waste goes, and having no answer to this question, Thorner realized that the question needed an answer. And it needed it ASAP. Thorner and the rest of Redhook’s team in Portsmouth can be certain and answer with pride that the recycled goods they produce, are repurposed, and transformed into clothing, carpeting and other goods. Traceability is unheard of. Traceability is the theme, and driving force behind the trifecta of Redhook, Foss, and Poly Recovery. Being a pioneer in sustainability is just one of the many initiatives that Redhook implements in its daily operations.

In accordance with the recent Wellness Fair, which took place on Oct. 22 at the brewery in Portsmouth, a new wellness program has been made available to its employees. Human Resources Manager Linda Currier highlighted the importance of providing employees at Redhook with wellness options.

“This was our fifth year for the fair, but the first year that we will be rolling out the new wellness program,” Currier noted. The vendors varied from representatives from the Coast Bus, to health practitioners, to acupuncture and hypnosis facilities, all of which allowed employees and families to choose the best practitioners, alternative medicine offices, etc.

The Wellness Fair offered a discount on the new health-care package if employees participated in the event and the biometric screening made available at the fair. If employees received a full-body check-up, providing information on weight, cholesterol, and other pertinent numbers, than they received a discount on the health care package offered through Redhook. “It simply provides the employees with options and information about their personal health status. They are able to choose how and what they do with this information,” said Currier.

A healthy set of employees promises a thriving workplace that not only dedicates itself to producing the best product possible, but also ensures that the environment is not at the expense of this product.

It takes no lengthy monologue, or an extensive research paper, or even a catchy image to truly understand Redhook’s socially responsible, environmentally conscious, and employee-centered business practices. There is no top-down, or bottom-up initiative. The programs installed at Redhook extend to all its facets, and with that, sustainability, wellness, and a thriving set of hands, brains, and emotions are driving the brewery into a promising future.

To read more information about Redhook, visit www.redhook.com.

To learn more about the Green Alliance go to www.greenalliance.biz.