Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Lost Grove Brewing Comes the First B Corp Brewery in Idaho

This impresses me. Lost Grove Brewing, of Boise, Idaho, has achieved Certified B Corporation status. In order to be designated as such, according to B Lab, the following standards must be met:
  • Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review. Multinational corporations must also meet baseline requirement standards.
  • Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.
  • Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.
According to the brewery's press release, the company's practices that brought it to this standard included the following:

Since 2018, Lost Grove has supported nonprofits through the Powerful Pints program, which highlights a different local nonprofit each month. Through this program, Lost Grove works to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofits and provides use of the taproom and brewery space for the organizations to use for events. Each year, Lost Grove also throws its annual BFF Block Party, which raises money for nonprofits during the Idaho Gives campaign. All Powerful Pint partners are invited to this celebration as an additional avenue for awareness and fundraising. Environmental responsibility has also long been a core value for Lost Grove. 

This year, Lost Grove installed solar panels on its patio bar, enabling the outdoor bar and cooler to be powered entirely by solar power. Lost Grove is committed to increasing the use of solar technology in the rest of the brewery in years to come. The brewery also began tracking employees’ transportation methods to find ways staff can reduce carbon emissions. In 2022, Lost Grove anticipates purchasing forest credits to help offset carbon emissions. 

In previous years, Lost Grove joined a pilot project to brew beer with reused wastewater, provided input on Boise’s new Water Renewal Utility Plan, supported fundraising efforts as part of the Idaho River United's Brewshed Alliance, and joined the Brewers for Clean Water campaign to show support to strengthen the waterways that provide drinking water. 

In addition to focusing on making positive changes in the world at large, Lost Grove is committed to being an ethical employer. In 2021, Black raised all staff’s wages to meet the living wage standard for Ada County as calculated by MIT. Lost Grove reimburses employees for up to 120 hours of volunteer work per year, provides incentives for employees using alternative transportation, and offers 25 vacation days per year to full-time staff. Lost Grove also provides training and resources for staff regarding sexual harassment prevention in the workplace and aims to offer health care support and 401k options to employees in the coming years. 

That's quite a lot for a brewery that only opened its doors in 2017 and has had, like everyone else, to adapt to the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first brewery in Idaho to achieve B corp status, and nationwide it is the 19th.