Employees forego pay for carbon neutrality

Think employees only care about money and time-off. Think again. New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins Colorado is most famous for its wonderful Fat Tire Amber beer. But it is also one of the leading companies in the world for creating a sustainable business. But the story of how it went to clean renewable energy deserves a page in HR manuals as well.

The owners of the business are committed to the environment and wanted to run on completely renewable clean energy. This is done through wind power and the on-site waste-water treatment operation.

In 1998 the 32% employee owned company brought the idea of going to wind power to a company vote. At the time it meant a 30% higher cost of electricity, most likely meaning the loss of significant end-of year bonuses for the employees. Despite knowing that their bonuses were going to suffer, the vote was unanimous to go to the clean energy solution. And not surprisingly, because of these high moral decisions, turnover is low and productivity is high because people feel like they are contributing to something bigger in the world.

To see how New Belgium produces some of its own power through it's waste-water treatment, check out this video.

New Belgium Brewing from whatis waste on Vimeo.