Today, Mother Earth Brewing of Kinston, NC announced that they have become the first brewery in the United States to be awarded LEED® Gold certification status from the United States Green Building Council. The award comes after over three years of renovations and carbon footprint reduction work by the brewery.
LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven program sponsored by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides third-party verification of green buildings. The program provides three different certification levels (Platinum, Gold and Silver) which are attained by earning a certain number of “points” by completing eco-friendly projects designed to:
- Lower operating costs and increase asset value
- Reduce waste sent to landfills
- Conserve energy and water
- Be healthier and safer for occupants
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
The program is voluntary, allowing those who wish to take a leadership role in the green building initiative to gain third party recognition. Though the USGBC does not formally track certified projects by categories such as “breweries,” they informed Mother Earth that it was the first brewery to achieve certification higher than Silver based on their research.
Mother Earth Brewing founders Stephen Hill and Trent Mooring were committed to environmental sustainability from the very inception of the brewery in 2008. Throughout the development and construction process, they both continued to spend time finding ways to make Mother Earth a green facility. That focus led to the installation of solar panels, recyclable carpet, eco-friendly tile, and insulation made of blue jeans. Eco-flush toilets save hundreds of gallons of water each year, and run on rain water collected in a cistern. The brewery also recycles everything from spent grain (feed for cattle) and the bags the grain comes in (converted to stylish shopping bags by local artisans) to the old wooden bourbon barrels the brewery uses for aging (converted to building materials and art pieces displayed throughout the facility).
“It was critical to educate myself on a multitude of eco-friendly products, and select those that best met our objectives, limiting our environmental impact, and demanding efficiency,” Mooring said.
The renovation of the brewery building has also spurred more downtown development in Kinston, which has since seen more renovations on downtown buildings that have brought along a new live music venue and two new restaurants slated to open this year.
“Revitalizing a downtown building and neighborhood isn’t just a great act of sustainability, it’s also a great way to foster economic growth in a local economy. We hope that we can continue to be an anchor for the downtown renaissance happening in our town,” added co-founder Stephen Hill.
Mother Earth Brewing was founded by Stephen Hill and Trent Mooring four years ago. Soon after, they added Brewmaster, Josh D. Brewer to the team and within months, an old downtown building was repurposed into a brewery. Mother Earth Brewing began to bottle and keg their beer in October of 2009. Today, just over three years after production of their first batch of beer, Mother Earth Brewing counts on a team of fourteen people to keep up with production. Mother Earth Brewing enjoys over 2,500 accounts, and can be found in bars, restaurants, supermarkets and specialty stores across North Carolina, Georgia, and Washington, DC.
Mother Earth Brewery is a 40 barrel craft brewery that bottles and kegs beer for sale in its Kinston, NC Tap Room, and for distribution in bars, restaurants and retail locations throughout North Carolina, Georgia, and Washington, DC. The brewery and Taproom are located at 311 North Herritage Street Kinston, NC 28501. More information can be found at www.motherearthbrewing.com. For more information about USGBC and LEED®, please visit www.usgbc.org/leed.