MONTPELIER — Innovative dairy and brewery owners are breathing new life into many Vermont communities, catering to growing consumer demand for fine craftsmanship, quality, and responsibly-made products. To help support environmental sustainability and profitability in these industries, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is launching a Green Dairy Cohort and Green Brewery Cohort.
“Businesses participating in the Cohorts connect and learn with their peers to improve environmental performance. DEC and its partners provide the structure, resources, and support to help businesses develop data-driven solutions that work for their industry and Vermont’s environment,” said DEC Commissioner Emily Boedecker.
Over the course of a year, participants meet for workshops, information-sharing, and networking. Participating businesses have access to funding, in-depth assistance including energy analysis, and training in topics like wastewater pollution prevention. These resources provide members with the tools they need to achieve sustainability goals to reduce water use, energy, trash, and wastewater discharges. Sustainability improvements can also yield financial benefits, by increasing the efficiency with which resources are used.
“As America’s oldest cheese business (1824), still producing cheese in America’s oldest cheese factory (1882), Crowley Cheese has prospered by focusing on preservation and evolution. We are excited to continue our evolution with our participation in the Green Dairy Cohort initiative, as we seek to further evolve our processes and technologies to better serve our customers, our community, and our planet,” said Galen Jones, owner of Crowley Cheese.
The Green Dairy Cohort participants are: Blue Ledge Farm, Bridport Creamery, Crowley Cheese, Fairy Tale Farm, Ice House Farm, Plymouth Artisan Cheese, and Shelburne Farms.
The Green Brewery Cohort participants are: Drop In Brewery, Foam Brewers, Hermit Thrush Brewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Vermont Cider Company, Whetstone Station Brewery, and Zero Gravity Brewery.
DEC is partnering with Efficiency Vermont to provide the energy-specific assistance to participants. “Through their leadership, these companies are proving the value of sustainable business practices in a way that will inform and inspire others to join them in strengthening Vermont’s economy,” said Rebecca Foster, Director of Efficiency Vermont.
Participation is free and open to any businesses in brewing, dairy products manufacturing, or specialty foods sectors. The Cohorts are profiled in a new video by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which funds them through a Pollution Prevention grant. Burlington Electric Department is providing energy assistance for businesses located in Burlington. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-477-2669, or visit https://dec.vermont.gov/environmental-assistance/sustainability/cohorts.
–Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
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