Since you found your way here, it might be because you are interested in science, benchmarks, and metrics as we are or maybe it’s because you’ve just pitched the yeast and you are waiting for your latest batch of beer to ferment during COP26 and have nothing else to do than scrolling Instagram. Regardless of how you got here…WELCOME! Here you will discover what YCH is doing to curb our carbon footprint and how we are determined to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector. If you would like to discuss any of the statements below or get involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on social media or drop us a line. Enjoy!
Did you know that 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture?!
We were just as shocked as you! Today, roughly 38 per cent of the world’s land is used for agriculture – one third of this is for crops, with the rest used for grazing livestock. And with agriculture (and forestry) responsible for 23 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that changes need to be made to how we manage our land, while at the same time safeguarding our food and farmers’ livelihoods.
Rather than raising our anxiety levels, we want to take this opportunity to raise awareness and share our progress for a sustainable future. As natural innovators, we always view challenges as opportunities to be helpful and make things better for everyone. YCH is uniquely positioned being a grower owned organization to make positive environmental change throughout our value chain – starting in the fields with our growers, through production in our facilities, and ending in the brew house with our brewing partners.
- Composting 100% of hop waste. Although the numbers are still being generated from CY 2021, CY 2020 produced 8,640,000 million pounds of biowaste utilized for composting in growers’ fields. Assuming each tone of compost sequesters 005 tons of carbon dioxide – our growers are contributing to nearly 432,000 tons of carbon.
- 100% drip irrigation. Snowpack and water levels are crucial for a healthy growing season. Through the use of artificial intelligence such as soil probes, our growers are using drip technology to improve and reduce the amount of water needed for hops by an average of 80% compared to traditional furrow irrigation.
- Transitioning to renewable energy to power our facilities. Currently YCH has invested in solar panels on our production facilities, which is offsetting approximately 20% of our energy demand. Our goal for 2025 is to source 100% of our energy demands from renewable energy sources. This will be accomplished through additional solar energy and purchasing renewable clean energy to offset the remainder of our electrical demands. This will allow us to halve our carbon footprint.
- CO2 recovery system and the pursuit for circularity. Our CO2 recovery system has reduced demand for purchased CO2 gas for our extraction system by 50% which has reduced the carbon footprint of that process by 50%.
- Using our 2019 numbers as a baseline, one of our lofty goals is to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. Scope 1 emissions have been reduced by nearly 70% and our Scope 2 emissions have been reduced by nearly 80%. These achievements were reached in large part to our solar panel system, the recapture ability of our CO2 recovery system, and energy efficiency upgrades throughout our processing facilities. YCH is in the process of implementing a Scope 3 calculation tool to be used by our growers to help them on their sustainability journeys as well, which will help us draw down carbon emissions and narrow in on our carbon goals.
- 95% of our packaging material is recyclable. However, we are not happy with this result. We have dreams of reaching 100% recyclability with our packaging and are very close to delivering on this promise. We want to reduce the burden on our customers of sending items to landfill by offering a recyclable mylar bag option. We are close and looking forward to delivering this product ahead of our 2025 target date.
Kudos to you, you’ve made it through the lecture! As COP 26 comes to an end, rest assured our dedication towards building a sustainable future will be ongoing.
Yakima Chief Hops is a sustainability company, and we aim to drive a systemic shift in society—in the ways people view the beer industry, how hops are produced, and the planet is treated.
Earlier this year we rolled out our Chief Commitments which outlines a series of tangible targets our business is actively seeking to elevate our communities and reduce our carbon footprints throughout our value chain. We want to operate our business for years to come and the only way to do that is by investing in sustainable practices and processes that support that mission.
We are excited to embark on the next phase of climate action and encourage you all to join us by following us on our journey and sharing with us what you are doing in your own world! Please visit our website: YCH Corporate Social Responsibility or contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see how we can collaborate to tackle climate change.