(492f) The Algebra of Sustainability: A Re-Casting of Metrics for the Artisanal Brewery

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An infrequently tested proposition from economics is that competitive pressure will force breweries to be efficient. Key Ratios and Sustainable development indicators (SDI) help focus an approach to sustainability into real and quantifiable action. An attempt to create an aggregate measure of various aspects of sustainability suggests a profile of indices that provide a technical perspective that is global, like World Class Manufacturing, but with transparent numerical quantification. By excluding social factors, often a key part of Sustainability considerations (ie, ‘community involvement’), calculation and presentation of  SDIs is made easier and clear. Key ratios such as MJ/hL, g CO2/L or hL water/hL of finished beer help the brewery understand basic primary resource drivers of the enterprise, and if metered sufficiently, of the underlying unit operations within the enterprise. A family of key ratios comprise a new aggregate SDI, and in which specific sustainable developments at breweries can be seen to influence the SDI. The desired result is that competitive pressure in reducing SDI will motivate breweries to commit in more-sustainable investments in their production operations. Independent craft breweries have supported this development work with travel grants for the Presenter to obtain order-of-magnitude scaling data.

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