'Green With Briess' - Our Sustainability Program
Briess Industries respects the environment and makes a conscious effort to minimize the environmental impact associated with our operations. We continuously seek improvements and foster partnerships that make more efficient use of natural resources to reduce pollution, emissions and waste. We are dedicated to maintaining a healthy balance between environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic stability for the well being of our community as a sustainable business.
—Briess Environmental Mission Statement
The Green With Briess sustainability program was formalized in 2005, when the U.S. Department of Energy accepted Briess into its Save Energy Now program. Since then, Briess has realized large reductions in energy consumption, emissions and waste through a combination of process changes and capital improvements. Briess has been recognized for these achievements at state and federal levels, and as a valued resource for manufacturers with strong environmental concerns.
Today, the company’s relentless pursuit for new green initiatives has become a way of life, woven into day-to-day operations and long-term business plans. This commitment to environmental stewardship was recognized in 2012 when Briess was formally accepted into the Wisconsin DNR Green Tier program, a voluntary program which recognizes and rewards environmental performance exceeding legal requirements related to health, safety and the environment.
Recognized as an 'Energy Saver'
In 2009 Briess Industries received an Energy Saver award for reductions it realized from 2006 to 2008 while a participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now program. Briess received the award for meeting or exceeding 7.5% total energy savings. The program started with an energy audit of all Briess plants and facilities by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate engineering group. The audit established a baseline of energy usage at all production facilities, and noted energy efficient practices that Briess was already employing, such as computer automated processes and the use of variable frequency controls. Over and above the audit, Briess further employed thermal imaging to pinpoint areas of electrical and heat loss. Acting on the recommendations of the audit and thermal imaging reports, an aggressive two-year program to improve efficiencies at all manufacturing and support facilities was initiated. This resulted in substantial energy savings and recognition by the D.O.E.
Recognized as a "Business Friend of the Environment'
In 2011, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce recognized Briess for environmental stewardship with a Business Friend of the Environment Award-Medium Size Company. Accomplishments of the company’s Green With Briess program were cited in the nomination.
Energy Reductions, 2006-2008
1) 20% reduction in natural gas use at the Irish Road Extract Plant
CO2 emissions were reduced the equivalent of 4.5 million fewer miles being driven each year:
- Heat exchange systems recover hot water streams for reuse in cleaning and boiler systems
- Heat generated by drying operations is recovered and reused throughout the plant
2) 10% reduction in natural gas use at the Chilton Malthouse
CO2 emissions were reduced the equivalent of 900,000 fewer miles being driven each year:
- Air-to-air heat exchangers were installed on kilns which decreased natural gas consumption by 25%
- New operating procedures reduced natural gas consumption to produce roasted malts by 20%energy reductions
Energy Reductions, 2009-Present
1) 20% reduction in natural gas use at the Chilton Malthouse
Natural Gas usage was reduced the equivalent of 1.8 million fewer miles being driven each year
- Additional reductions from air-to-air heat exchangers that were installed on kilns in 2008
2) 8% reduction in electrical use at the Chilton Malthouse
CO2 emissions were reduced the equivalent of 200,000 fewer miles being driven each year
3) 10% reduction in energy use at the Irish Road Extract Plant
CO2 emissions reduced the equivalent of 2 million fewer miles being driven each year
- New heat exchange system
1) New Irish Road Extract Plant heat exchange system reuses water, reducing annual water usage by 3.5 million gallons
- Clean discharge water from the Irish Road Extract Plant is being repiped into surface storm basins,reducing the need to treat 6 million gallons of water annually
Conversion from Freon to Ammonia Refrigeration
Eliminated ozone damaging greenhouse gases and reduced energy consumption by 20%
99% of all Waste Streams are Recycled
- Used as cattle feed and fertilizer by local farming operations
- High strength waste helps generate a continuous 1.5 megawatts of electricity at a local farming operation
- Waterloo Malthouse worked with animal nutritionists to develop a market for a byproduct, reducing the need to landfill or land apply 1 million pounds of waste stream annually
General Efficiencies and Conservation
- Strict maintenance programs assure equipment and vehicles operate at peak efficiency
- Clean-in-place reduces chemicals needed to clean/sanitize to food-grade requirements
- All product packaging is recyclable
- Office paper, toner cartridges, cardboard and glass are recycled; electronic faxes; smoke free campus
- Incandescent lighting is being replaced with high efficiency lighting