As featured in Canadian Business Journal
Ontarians would likely be satisfied just to have an establishment from which to buy beer, without any frills. But The Beer Store doesn't see itself like that. President Ted Moroz is passionate about the company's environmental initiatives and the company has a long history of environmental efforts.
"We were green before it was cool," he laughs. "We have always had the recycled bottle system, where all collected materials are either reused or recycled. It's one of the most successful waste diversion programs in Canada.
To put that in perspective, we save taxpayers $38 million in added blue box costs."
In 2007, The Beer Store launched the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP), an initiative that takes in wine and spirit empties, along with the usual beer bottles. "It's a substantial project," Moroz adds.
"The ODRP means 350 million more containers are being recycled per year. If it was up to us, nothing would go to the landfill." With a bottle recovery rate of over 95 per cent, the company's vision is a near-reality.
On the energy efficiency side, The Beer Store is narrowing in on a huge consumption culprit: refrigeration. Along with installing controlled thermostats in the refrigeration units - for which Toronto Hydro named them Customer of the Year - the company is also implementing refrigeration units that incorporate outside air to help refrigerate the product. "It reduces electricity use by 50 per cent," says Moroz.
What is perhaps most refreshing about these green initiatives are the altruistic motives behind them. Sparse competition means The Beer Store doesn't need good PR to give it an edge in the market. Instead, the company sees sustainability as a way of giving back.
"We want to be recognized by Ontarians for our efforts," tells Moroz. "In return for the privilege of having the beer store in Ontario, we have to play our part by making better decisions for the environment."