Drink For Tomorrow: JuneShine Sustainability Update
Since the day we started, sustainability has been a core value at JuneShine. We wanted to make a product that had real, simple ingredients; build a company that put people first; and steer the beverage industry towards brewing honest alcohol for a better planet. The end goal is still to be the most sustainable beverage producer, and while we’re not there yet– we want to share our progress, both successes, and failures, with all of you.
Back in 2018, our first goal was sourcing organic ingredients. Not only is this better for us and the planet, this meant we were also creating a higher demand for suppliers who are taking care of our soil in the best way possible. We also committed to donating one percent of all sales to environmental nonprofits through 1% For The Planet. This was our way of planting a stake in the ground from Day 1 to ensure we do what's best for the planet while growing JuneShine.
As most of you saw, we grew fast. It would have been easy to cut costs and improve margins by taking shortcuts. But that’s not why we got into this. Instead, we began eliminating plastic from our outbound freight by getting rid of PakTeks and switching to cardboard cartons for our six-packs. We started pursuing painted cans and removing plastic sleeved cans, which is still a battle we are trying to win. In 2020, we started sourcing our energy through renewable sources through our local power provider. While our goal is to have renewable energy onsite, this was the best interim option as a commitment to sustainable growth.
As the company grows, so does our carbon footprint. Last year, we felt that donating to nonprofits wasn’t enough to make up for our new, larger impact on the planet, so we partnered up with Climate Neutral to measure, reduce, and offset our carbon footprint. This means we measure how large our carbon footprint is, figure out ways to reduce it, and purchase carbon credits (in other words, support renewable energy projects) to offset that footprint.
Another sticking point with our growth has been our waste stream. We audited ours and created a waste separation program onsite at the brewery to create a “pack in, pack out” mentality. This means we don’t just throw all our waste in bulk bins and have other waste services handle separating items–we put in the labor and get our hands dirty, baling and diverting as much waste as we can from the landfill. Luckily, this is something lots of beverage companies here in San Diego want help with, so the San Diego Brewcycling Cooperative was born. JuneShine is the host site for the Co-op and currently receives plastics, cardboard, and other waste commodities onsite to be sorted and baled at JuneShine from ~10 other breweries, and that number is growing.
The past few years have taught us that being a sustainable company means putting your money where your mouth is, that there’s strength in numbers, and that the decision to be sustainable is one that we make over and over again, many times each day–not once per quarter.
So what’s next?
In addition to continuing every commitment so far, we want to remove single-use plastic completely from our outbound and inbound freight, create a zero-waste brewing facility, and develop a CO2 reclamation onsite at JuneShine Ranch. This still doesn’t scratch the surface, but sustainability is about progress, not perfection. Thank you for continuing to challenge us every day to be the most sustainable we can be.
Forrest Dein & Greg Serrao