A Toast to a Good Employer: New Belgium Brewery
FORT COLLINS, COLO.—Working at the New Belgium Brewery here seems too good to be true. Maker of the well-known Fat Tire beer and other nationally-distributed craft brews including Skinny Dip, 1554 and Blue Paddle, the brewery employees about 450 people in this college town, and recently announced it is opening another brewery in Asheville, N.C.
In Fort Collins and Boulder you hear so much about environmental sustainability that it almost becomes overwhelming. Using clean energy, recycling religiously, biking to work and otherwise living a sustainable lifestyle is the norm. So it’s no surprise that New Belgium has an impressive and aggressive commitment to maintaining a minimal carbon footprint, dealing responsibly with waste and water and lobbying for clean water and air and other environmental causes.
But the company extends its sustainability commitment to the well-being of workers, who co-own 43 percent of the company through an ESOP (employee stock ownership program) and have a collective say in nearly all company decisions, from strategic long-range planning to daily choices, according to sustainability manager Katie Wallace.
This post may sound like shameless public relations for the company, but their stated commitment to a sustainable work environment seems to hold up under closer examination.