In a state that is well known for its exceptional beers as well as its commitment to sustainable industries, it is no surprise that a local brewery is the recipient of the Governor's Sustainability Award for Small Business. Hood River, Oregon based Full Sail Brewing received the award in recognition of its outstanding sustainable business practices.
"To be acknowledged for our sustainable business practices by Oregon, a state that has been at the forefront in its commitment to sustainable business practices, is an honor," said Irene Firmat, Full Sail's founder and CEO. "For us, this sense of responsibility has been part of our core principals since we first started brewing beer over 21 years ago."
The judges of the awards noted that the brewery excelled in the areas of social equity, energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, use of recycled materials, procurement of local ingredients, community involvement and waste management.
Full Sail Brewing is an employee-owned company that operates a brew house made of reclaimed and recycled materials, uses local ingredients whenever feasible and purchases wind power for its facility's energy needs. The company also uses a hot water recovery system that saves more than three million gallons of water per year, which helps it consume roughly half the water other breweries use in beer production.
In 2006, Governor Ted Kulongoski issued an Executive Order directed by the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department (OECDD) to establish an awards program to promote and advance the inclusion of sustainable practices in government and the private sector. This order helped establish the highly competitive and sought-after Governor's Sustainability Awards.
The 2008 recipients of the awards totaled six winners in four categories. In addition to Full Sail, award winners in the Small Business category included two other companies in the wine and beer industry: Sokol Blosser Winery located in Dundee, Oregon, and Klamath Basin Brewing Company located in Klamath Falls, Oregon.