SME Name
Brygghuset Finn
SME Size
Micro (1-9)
Sector
Beverage production
Industry
Food & Beverage
Developed by Ulrike Krantz

Lesson

This is a case study of a micro-sized SME that produces local craft beer with focus on reducing waste and CO2 emissions and engagement in the regional craft brewer sector. Through collaboration with other craft breweries which consider themselves as allies in the competition against large-scale breweries, the SME manages to reduce costs and create a community of learning and sharing amongst regional craft breweries.

Background

The brewery Finn in Landskrona, in the region of Scania in Sweden, has been founded in 2012 by three friends (an economist and two engineers) with a passion for craft beer. Their mission was to make people as passionate for local and high-quality craft beer. Finn offers a broad variety of locally produced beer which they produce with traditional craft brewing methods combined with innovative engineering. 

Sustainability Story

The Finn brewery considers sustainability as crucial for the long-term survival of their business and is striving to improve their sustainability with the resources at hand. Due to the company’s small size their main challenge is to keep the small business profitable and secure jobs while they compete with large-scale breweries that can offer beer at lower prices and also invest more resources in sustainability. Finn brewery´s mission statement is to produce high quality beer at a reasonable price and as sustainably as possible.

Finn has a broad range of sustainability practices throughout the entire value chain. They optimize packaging and transport, as well as the production processes to reduce CO2 emissions and waste. Finn engages socially e.g. supporting diversity through collaboration with pride organization, local community engagement for beer festivals and engagement for responsible consumption. Moreover, Finn is well-connected to other craft brewers in the region and was engaged in initiating a consolidated transport of end products from several craft breweries in southern part of Sweden to their main customer, the federal liqueur monopoly, that is located in the middle of Sweden. An interesting aspect in the collaboration of craft breweries is that they do not consider each other as competitors, instead they collaborate and support each other in their struggle to compete against large-scale breweries in a highly regulated alcoholic beverage sector. This led to the founding of Scania´s alcoholic beverage producers´ association in which Finn has taken a leading role. The association organises regional festivals to further sales of craft beverages as well as capacity building events for their members. In a collaboration with Lund University (SustBeerLab), 9 sustainable brewing principles have been co-created amongst the members and other actors in the field. 

Brygghuset Finn Practices

Local, low-waste and low-carbon production Local embeddedness and collaboration with other craft beverage producers
The company continuously optimizes processes to reduce/ integrate/ recover waste and by-products and save energy and CO2. They engage in an experiment with Lund University to locally grow hops in a greenhouse adjacent to the brewery augmented with waste CO2 from brewing processes. The leadership is engaged in the local brewing scene and tries to help other local craft brewers grow and evolve. E.g. Co-founding of the craft alcohol beverage producer association in Scania and initiating a consolidated transport of end-products with to the federal alcohol monopoly´s storehouse. Moreover, the company has collaborated with Lund University on the development of sustainable brewing principles for the craft alcohol beverage producer association in Scania.

Pathway Map

Pathway maps represent the sequence businesses followed to implement successful sustainability practices and identify emerging ones within firms. The pathways also reveal the diversity of actors that begin to form sustainability enabling ecosystems for businesses to adopt, deploy or test sustainability practices.
Local Embeddedness and Collaboration with Other Craft Beverage Producers
View the Pathway Map
Local, Low-Waste and Low-Carbon Production
View the Pathway Map

Enabling Factors for Practices

Finns’ sustainability practices are enabled by a number of key actors, policies, resources, and partnerships:

Internal to the organizationExternal to the organization
Good engineering know-how for energy and water saving optimizationsWell-connected to other craft breweries and stakeholders
Finn has reached a certain production scale that is necessary for certain energy efficiency measures (e.g. re-using of heat)State funding to establish CO2 capture system
Regional funding for energy assessment
Research funding for hyperlocal hops growing experiment
Research expertise on sustainable brewing through university researcher

Arresting Factors for Practices

Internal to the organizationExternal to the organization
Federal liqueur monopoly is not supporting breweries that engage with sustainability, e.g. transport consolidations
Social engagement is difficult because most organisations do not want to be connected to the alcohol industry and the federal liqueur monopoly restricts sponsoring (e.g. of sports)
Undifferentiated alcohol tax gives small-scale producers a relative disadvantage compared to large-scale producers
Small-scale producers have less personal and financial resources to work with sustainability; focus is on profitability and up-scaling production to a level that allows for more energy-efficiency measures
Limited ways of reaching out to customers to inform about sustainability due to alcohol monopoly

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