Sustainability Series: Social
Welcome back! If you haven’t read the first part in our sustainability series (on environmental sustainability), be sure to click here and start reading from the beginning. Up next, we’re tackling the topic of social sustainability. According the the Brewers Association, “social sustainability is the ability to attract and retain the best employees, provide them with a safe and prosperous place to work, and give back and support the local community.” Since we opened our doors in 2011, our social sustainability practices have always been a top priority. Our employees and community gives so much to us, so we’re always looking for ways to better support them.
How has the craft beer industry changed Charlotte’s social/cultural landscape?
We truly believe that the social and cultural landscape in our city has changed for the better because of the craft beer industry growth. For years, Charlotte was the largest metropolitan area without a local brewery, and even after we opened, we were still considered to be lagging behind the national trend for several years. In the nearly seven years since, we have seen Charlotte become a nationally recognized craft beer destination; Recognized not only for the industry’s quick growth, but also for our high quality beers via prestigious competitions. We’re so humbled to add to those recognitions with our 2011 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Silver for Coco Loco, 2014 World Beer Cup Gold for Hop Drop ‘N Roll and 2016 GABF Gold for Nodajito. The notoriety of the entire city’s craft beer scene is helping to drive tourism, but more importantly it inspires civic pride, and even helps unrelated companies attract and retain employees.
What efforts are we making to support our community?
First and foremost, we take our name from the NoDa neighborhood, so we strongly believe in being positive and active members in our community. We employ nearly 50 people, all residents of Charlotte and many who live in the NoDa neighborhood. We hire community businesses and artists whenever possible (come check out our murals and art wall when you have the chance), and we support as many local charities as we can. Because of the communities belief in us, we were able to support 100+ charities in Charlotte last year! This year we were absolutely humbled to win the inaugural Charlotte Brewery Charity Championship and the Outstanding Small Philanthropic Small Business award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Our inclusion of charity work manifests itself through a variety of programs:
- You Drink, We Donate: Every single Monday, we support a charity by donating $1 of every pint that’s consumed in the tap room. Our goal through this program is to support charities that are small and looking for an opportunity to reach a new audience. We allow the nonprofit to set-up a table and bring materials to the tap room, in the hopes that a greater awareness of what they do will come from our partnership.
- Free event space: We know how tight charities’ budgets can be, so we allow nonprofits to host their fundraising events in our tap room free of charge! From Ales for Autism to Pink Pint Night, not only do we simply host these events, but we truly believe it’s our duty to give to those who are doing so much good in our community.
- Beer donations: When a charity is hosting their fundraising events elsewhere, we often try to minimize the cost of beer in their budget by donating what we can.
- Community literacy: When state funding for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library via Smart Start lacks, we fund one free book a month for every enrolled child in the 28205 (our original facility) and 28206 (our new production facility) area codes.
What other affiliations, relationships, events, partnerships and initiative are we engaged in that support the local community?
In addition to the 100+ charities we support each year, we also believe in supporting and partnering with other local businesses in our city. We are the official beer sponsor of the Charlotte Marathon, many U.S. National Whitewater Center events, and all events at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville.
How do we support our employees?
We couldn’t do what we do without our incredibly dedicated team. Each year we seek to meet additional needs, in order to make our employee packages as robust as possible. Here are a few of the ways that we support our employees right now:
- Not just compensation at very competitive rate, but one that’s above average for the industry.
- 100% paid health, life, dental and vision insurance.
- Opportunities to grow within the company.
- Opportunities for professional development.
In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about one last element of sustainability in this series. Stay tuned!