Biosphere is all about connecting people to nature and helping them learn about the environment. Although our flagship activity is taking people, especially youth, around the world on environmental learning expeditions to some of the most amazing places on the planet, we also know that understanding what’s happening in our own backyard is just as important. That includes learning about and supporting local businesses that operate in a way that is good for the environment. We love supporting businesses like this because they show that you CAN make a profit and operate in an environmentally sensitive way . Profits and the environment are not an ‘either or’. Businesses can do both.
Today we discovered an outstanding example of a local business balancing planet and profits – Cartwright Springs Brewing Company in Pakenham, Ontario. In impromptu visit to Cartwright had us taste testing their incredible brew. While we worked our way from the pilsner to the porter, we got talking with Eduardo Guerra, one of the business partners. By the time we’d made it to the bottom of a tasting glass of maple porter, Eduardo was telling the story of Cartwright’s cutting edge water treatment system. Cartwright is made with spring water – water that bubbles out of the ground right outside their front door. Because they depend on this water for their brew, it’s extremely important that they protect this water source. But it’s more than that. Cartwright cares about the environment. So much so, that they spent a lot of money putting in a high-tech water treatment system that treats all of the water on site. And after treatment, all of the water that flows into the weeping bed is cleaner than grey water that a household water recycling system would produce. That really impressed us!
As we sipped their springwater-fresh brew, Eduardo was telling us that the ‘waste’ (the spent grains) goes to a local farmer and is used as animal feed. So the environmental footprint of this micro-brewery is incredibly small – possibly smaller than any in Ontario and maybe even any in Canada.
We applaud Cartwright’s committment to the environment. They’re showing local businesses and the brewing industry at large, that you can run a profitable business in a way that is good for the environment. This is a philosophy that Richard Branson’s Plan B projet is promoting – that people and planet matter just as much as profits and that businesses around the world can operate in a way that generates profit while being good for communities and the environment.
If you’re in the Ottawa area, I really hope you’ll consider visiting the Cartwright Springs Brewery. It’s nestled in the forest not far off the main road. Grab a pint and park in one of their Adirondack chairs on their stone patio. Support our local businesses who make the effort to be at the forefront of sustainability. Way to go Cartwright! Biosphere gives you two thumbs up!
Erratum – I incorrectly stated in a previous version of this article that the spent grain was used as organic fertilizer. This was incorrect. The correct information is that it is used as animal feed by a local farmer.