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Brewery in Energy Saving Battle of the Buildings

Brewery Vivant
Battle of the Buildings

Nestled in a quaint Grand Rapids neighborhood, Brewery Vivant sits in an 80-year-old renovated chapel. It is believed to be the first microbrewery in the world to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Kris and Jason Spaulding opened Brewery Vivant in 2010 and work hard to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability into their company. Onsite facilities include a pub, restaurant, brewery and canning operations.

As a Consumers Energy customer, the brewery is participating in the Battle of the Buildings in West Michigan. The contest challenges businesses to be the most energy efficient and is organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan and supported by Consumers Energy.

“The Battle of the Buildings is a natural extension of our work every day to help commercial businesses reduce their energy usage,“ said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy Vice President of Customer Operations and Quality. “This will save them money they can pass on to customers and put more Michigan residents to work.”

Brewery Vivant uses sustainable practices throughout their building. Kris Spaulding has taken charge of these practices and implementing them in the company’s daily activity. Overall, the brewery has many goals they are trying to reach. These include:

  • 10 percent of the food grown at the Vivant farm
  • 10 percent of profits go to charity
  • Packaging their beer in cans rather than bottles. The cans protect the quality of the beer and are much lighter; meaning less fuel is used during transport. People also are more likely to recycle aluminum.

“Moving forward we have a lot of cool things to motivate staff with our goals of zero waste, 200 employee volunteer hours, and an annual reduction in our carbon footprint,” said Kris Spaulding.

The Spauldings also chose to purchase 100 percent of their electric supply from the Consumers Energy Green Generation renewable energy program. They are looking to add solar power to the building and working to become a bike friendly certified business.

Vivant is also looking to invest in additional uses for their fryer oil. Currently, it donates this oil to people who use it to heat their home.

“We believe a great business exists because of the support of the local community,” Kris Spaulding said. “Therefore, a business should be an active extension of the community and strive to find meaningful ways to give back.”

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