7 Bridges: Brewing a more sustainable future
Momentum for sustainability is growing strong in the Food & Beverage industry, and in Vietnam, independent businesses have started taking actions. 7 Bridges, a craft beer company in Vietnam is making award-winning beers while generating positive impacts on the local community.
7 Bridges is an award winning craft beer company from Danang, Vietnam and Asia’s original IMPACT BREWING COMPANY. 7 Bridges achieves a positive IMPACT in all they do, from developing innovative gold medal winning craft beers to organising tangible social and environmental outreach and fundraising. Their beers continue to win loads of international awards and recognition but ultimately simply ‘bridge’ the gap to bring global standards of craft beer to Vietnam. 7 Bridges products could be found in quality venues across the country and in their taprooms in Da Nang, Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Participating in the Green Interview today is Travis Hodges, Creative Director of 7 Bridges
Tram Anh: In this industry, what are some ways that breweries can increase efficiency, decrease usage or minimise negative environmental impacts to create a more sustainable system?
Travis: The brewing industry shares sustainability opportunities with much of the F&B industry. Energy reduction, waste management and environmentally conscious sourcing. The major difference is on the manufacturing side as brewing uses a lot of water and creates a lot of organic by-products. Note that we do not call these by-products 'waste'. 7 Bridges sees this organic material as an opportunity for more than just sustainability, they can be up-cycled into something useful. From our very beginning we have been committed to research, innovate and implement processes that reduce our environmental impact.
One example is the water processing built at our first brewery. Conscious choices reduced the total amount of water used and a custom Vetiver pond system ensured that waste water was naturally treated and fully
Tram Anh: How are you sourcing your ingredients? What practices are you taking to ensure the sustainability in your supply chain?
Travis: We work with trusted suppliers to ensure both quality and reduce environmental impact as much as we can. Some ingredients have to come from global suppliers but we are constantly innovating to use more local ingredients. Local chilis, cacao, citrus fruits and more can be found in our beers.
Tram Anh: In regards to environmental and social responsibility, what are your proudest accomplishments so far at 7 Bridges?
Travis: We are proud of leading the industry in this area, of making sustainability a core component of our business. And we are proud of making great beer (that has received loads of awards) without compromising on our environmental action.
Tram Anh: How can breweries, especially startups and small businesses, balance sustainability and the bottom line?
Travis: It is the responsibility of business owners to commit to good practices. This becomes more difficult as a business grows but our ethos runs deep with the team. Craft Breweries are often led by people filled with passion, something that drives them beyond pure profit. Independence of thought and business intent is a core feature of the 'craft' industries. Many of our actions actually include adding value. Our Zero Waste efforts include turning 'waste' into more valuable assets that create revenue. Come and try our Dragon Chili Sauce and Brewer's Soap, both areexcellent products that happen to be made with by-products (waste materials) from brewing.
Tram Anh: Do you think that a high sustainability level provide 7 Bridges a more competitive advantage in the market?
Travis: We believe that our actions can inspire others. Both customers and competitors. Beer fans can be fiercely loyal to their favourite brands, and creating a point of difference is a real challenge. Sustainability has to be more than 'greenwashing' for marketing purposes, it is about building a brand that people trust to deliver above and beyond what is expected. Good beer and good environmental choices are expected, we try to make great beer while going beyond basic sustainability. We believe that our actions will create an attractive point of difference for conscious customers. But that is not the driving force behind our environmental decisions.
Tram Anh: For the craft brewery industry as a whole, as the one in Vietnam in specific, what progress in sustainability did you see in 2021 and 2022? What are the biggest sustainability challenges that 7 Bridges see moving forward?
Travis: All industries are still in recovery from the impact of Covid, the great challenge now is for businesses to rebound with environmental great challenge now is for businesses to rebound with environmental new standards and better processes to be implemented. Recent changes can be seen in consumer attitude, more and more people in Vietnam are looking to support sustainable businesses. This change can positively influence business in Vietnam, consumers will look for stories of sustainable practice and recognise people who are truly impacting on this issue.
Tram Anh: What are 7 Bridges's sustainability goals for 2023 and beyond? What shall remain your biggest challenges?
Travis: One of our new campaigns aims to celebrate sustainability in Vietnam. We will soon be launching a competition for people to nominate local environmental heroes, people making a difference in their community. The winners of this competition will be featured on our next set of beer labels, becoming the next 'Faces of 7 Bridges'. Though this campaign, we aim to shine a light on the great work and exceptional people in sustainability. Look out for the announcement and nomination process on our website.
Tram Anh: What tips could you give to other craft brewery businesses in specific, and other businesses in the F&B industry, to improve the overall sustainability of the business?
Travis: Wouldn't it be great if every business looked closely at the waste they create and did something about it!? Small steps add up and once you start to make changes in business practice it becomes easier to build on them. Our tip would be to invest some time into these changes, to make this a topic of discussion for staff. Just watch the excitement grow from there.
You can read more about the impacts that 7 Bridges are generating here!
7 Bridges Brewing Company
Hanoi: 104 Xuan Dieu
Da Nang: 79 Luong Huu Khanh
Ho Chi Minh: 15B/12 Le Thanh Ton
Tel: 0977 326 478