Going Green at GABF

Great American Beer Festival Sustainability Efforts

Since 2016, the GABF has been recognized with Certifiably Green Denver (CGD) certification. To achieve certification, we implemented a variety of practices designed to realize savings in water, energy, waste, sustainable management and transportation practices. Examples include:

  • Eliminating waste from bottled water by setting up filling stations throughout the event
  • Purchasing carbon offsets for a portion of the energy consumed by the event
  • Ensuring all cups and serviceware are recyclable and compostable, and providing staffed zero waste stations to help patrons to sort the waste streams properly

Waste Diversion for 2017 GABF

  • Single-stream Recycling (Waste Management): 11.57 tons
  • Plastic Film Recycling (Alpine Waste and Recycling): .46 tons
  • Glass Bottle Recycling (Rocky Mountain Bottling Company): 4.79 tons
  • Compost (Alpine Waste and Recycling): 7.53 tons
  • Trash (Waste Management): 14.26 tons
  • Total Material (including waste) = 38.61 tons
  • Total Material Diverted from the Landfill = 24.35 tons
  • 2016 GABF Diversion Rate = 63%

How Low (Impact) Can We Go?

Each year the GABF makes every attempt to lessen its impact through innovative sustainability programs. 2017 marked the tenth year of sustainability initiatives. We continue to realize strategies that lower the environmental impact though waste reduction, resource recovery, energy use and education. Partnerships with ZeroHero, Freeman Exhibit Services, Colorado Convention Center, Centerplate Catering, and the Colorado Carbon Fund help us realize our yearly goals.

Landfill Diversion

A comprehensive pre- and post-festival recycling program, including:

  • The use of Styrofoam at food outlets in the event has been banned.
  • All disposable items at GABF are recyclable or compostable. We use compostable water cups, plates and utensils. As always, the beer glass is reusable, and we hope attendees will use it for many years to come.
  • All glass and plastic bottles, cans, paper and cardboard are recycled.
  • Glass recycling included bottles being separated from single-stream recycling and taken directly to a packaging facility for reuse, foregoing multiple travel trips, sorting at various facilities and shipping to the end-user.
  • Bulk condiments are used at concession area instead of single packets.
  • All compost is processed by Alpine Waste and Recycling. This is a permitted commercial composting facility. Within 90 days, this compost will become a rich soil amendment.

Your Support!

  • YOU, the attendee, can help green the GABF. Please help us by putting ‘waste in its place’ and visiting the ZeroHero tents located throughout the festival to recycle or compost your waste. A friendly volunteer will determine what goes where.
  • In order to reduce waste, we encourage you to reuse your GABF beer glass in between tastings at one of the many water stations located throughout the festival. If you have to use one of the cups provided at the water station, make sure it ends up in the compost when you are finished.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

  • Offset your carbon to and from the festival by calculating your footprint with the Denver Eco Friendly Event CO2e Emissions Calculation Tool and offsetting your carbon through the Colorado Carbon Fund.
  • GABF has offset our carbon footprint through the Colorado Carbon Fund. Donations help fund carbon mitigation and community benefit projects right here in Colorado.
  • Hybrid taxis are available after each session as part of the GABF move toward sustainability.
  • House lights are kept at 50% during the show.

The GABF sustainability program is one of the leading programs in the country.  We’re excited by the prospect of another year of growth, learning and waste diversion in 2018. Thank you for continued your support!