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New Belgium Strikes ‘100% Wind Powered’ Following Complaint

Facing criticism from a former employee, New Belgium Brewing Co., often pointed to as an environmental leader, has cut phrasing from its marketing that claims it relies on total wind power, Fort Collins Weekly reports

Former New Belgium employee Eric Sutherland has sent an inquiry and expressed concern to the city’s Electric Board regarding the company’s participation in the Fort Collins Wind Power Program, saying the company has misled the public by calling itself “all wind powered” or operating on “100 percent renewable energy.” Like most Wind Power Programs, subscribers purchase renewable energy credits for the full amount of energy they use from sources that burn coal or natural gas.

As a result of Sutherland’s complaint, New Belguim says it has done an audit of all its materials, and omitted phrasing that claims total wind power. The brewery says it was matter of semantics.

“We took a look at what (Sutherland) was saying, that it could be inferred that we were saying that all the energy was coming (from wind power),” Bryan Simpson, New Belgium’s media relations director, says in the article. “So we have gone through our literature and amended any reference to fully or 100 percent wind power.”

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6 thoughts on “New Belgium Strikes ‘100% Wind Powered’ Following Complaint

  1. New Belgium still has these words up on their web site:
    “The entire operation is powered by wind….” This is a week after they said they would review their language.

  2. New Belgium could start a returnable bottle program if it wants to walk the talk. The energy required to make the disposable bottles used to package the company’s products take 3 to 4 time more energy than the beer inside, and that is only if the bottles are recycled after use!!

  3. I am certain that New Belgium along with other breweries in the Fort Collins area have refillable, reusable growlers – half gallon glass jugs for transporting draft beer. That seems like walking the talk to me. Perhaps one should be more critical of the consumer who does not take advantage of such energy saving methods. But then if one did that the finger of blame would inevitably eventually point back at oneself.

  4. There’s just something not right about going after the good guys when there’s plenty of bad guys around. Eric Sutherland (aka sutherix) just looks like a sour ex-employee. Coming from one who would love to be a part of the family at the brewery there in FC, you just sound crazy.

  5. The world needs critics. Without them we would live in a world that roams free from the tether of merit and quality. Existence would be more aimless in its pursuits and less structured in its execution. Integrity would be cast by the wayside. I applaud Eric Sutherland in his public revelation of possbile New Belgium overextension and the resulting response that has New Belgium tightening its reigns on how its may or may not be contrued in the marketplace. However I can only take the same incessant critique for so long before it becomes tiresome and seems like the voice of a bothered soul. A little bit or research shows that Eric Sutherland has spent years on his hate-on-New Belgium campaign and the only positive suggestion toward solution he has offered, i.e. returnable bottles, has been completely refuted by Mr G. Rowler (see response # 5, “reusable bottles”) in what, judging by the poor grammer, must have been ten minutes of thinking. Otherwise he has focused on centuring the use of the wind program endorsement which is likely to make all other subscribers peel the program’s “windmill decal” from their windows. Not very productive. Focusing on negative emotions and energy is no way to make change (or friends.) It is, though, a very effective way of making people feel defensive and dismissive. Moreover, I am fairly certain that it would be catagorized as “pseustainable” behavior, to use Sutherland’s verbage. I can only venture to think that many people, including myself, would like to see is a preliminary list of positive solutions form Sutherland to make his critical rants seem more buoyant. In this instance, that would be the most sustainable thing he could do. Frank

  6. Sutherland: The people who are doing the most for the environment are the first to get heat. It is good to hold NBBC to higher standards. However, please expend your energy to those who need to be critized most. I can give you a list of about 1,000 large companies that deserve it. Just ask.

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