Brewery 'hero' at climate summit COP26

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Sunday 7th November 2021 9:00 am
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A South Hams brewery is banging the climate change drum for Devon at the COP26 conference in Glasgow after making it through to the finals of the Heroes of Net Zero competition.

Barnaby’s Brewhouse in Staverton is one of five microbusinesses in the UK to reach the finals, as the team impressed judges with their creative efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve net zero.

The competition, launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was created to celebrate small businesses taking innovative action to go green and cut their own greenhouse gas emissions to become a net zero business by 2050.

Run by Barnaby Harris and Tim Stacey, the brewhouse aimed to become carbon neutral from day one with a strategy based on “sustainability through innovation,” Barnaby said.

The company, located on Riverford’s dairy farm near Totnes, started out with relatively low emissions and was effectively off-grid, said Barnaby.

It avoided carbon debt (accrued in prior emissions from assets such as new buildings and stainless steel) by building the brewery in reclaimed stone farm buildings and using repurposed second-hand stainless steel tanks and pipework.

Barnaby said: “After what has been a very difficult year and a half for businesses like ours in the hospitality sector, being a Hero of NET Zero is a huge shot in the arm for us.

“We feel it has validated the hard work we have put into taking an innovative approach to truly sustainable, carbon-neutral, production and to focus on local markets.

“We are delighted because this will help us to fast track the development of our own innovations as well as inspire others to seek out new and more environmentally friendly ways of doing business.”

Barnaby and Tim, with respective backgrounds in IT and engineering, are now using their expertise to create new technologies to reduce both emissions and energy use.

Working with FabLabs (part of Plymouth College of Art) they are developing natural CO2 harvesting from their fermentation so that they can eliminate industrial CO2 - a by-product of the oil and gas industry - completely from their production.

They are also developing a new approach to energy generation, harvesting and management in the expansion of the brewery.

Both projects will produce affordable technologies which will be made available to other businesses in the food and beverage sector.

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