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Five years ago this November, the idea for the Iowa Green Brewery Project (IGBC) had just begun developing. The Iowa Waste Reduction Center was looking to continue providing free environmental assistance to Iowa businesses, but on a more specific level. The craft beer industry was a natural fit. Resource intensive, rapidly expanding statewide, and industry interest in environmental stewardship, the IGBC started to gain traction.

“Five years ago, this was little more than an idea. Our hope with this certification program is to give brewers an opportunity to share their environmental and sustainable efforts with their customers” says Joe Bolick, Director of the IWRC.

The first year of the IGBC program was spent working closely with four breweries throughout three counties in Iowa to develop a program that would provide benefit and make an impact on Iowa craft breweries. We surveyed brewery owners and personnel to identify areas of the brewery and operation procedures that were making a sizable impact on both the environment and a brewery’s bottom line. The 4 areas identified through the exploratory phase are what we focus our assistance around today. These include Environmental Management, Energy Efficiency, Water Quality/Conservation, and Resource/Solid Waste Management.

Since officially launching the certification program four years ago, more than 40 of Iowa’s craft breweries have received assistance from this program, with just over 30 becoming officially certified. The willingness of brewery personnel to adopt these sustainability initiatives over the past five years has been incredibly encouraging. Many breweries have wanted to make a difference in how they operate and conduct business to represent their true commitment to sustainability.

We are very honored to say that the IGBC program has received recognition through numerous awards since its inception. In 2017, the program was awarded the “Commitment to Iowa” award from the Iowa Recycling Association. Most recently, in September of 2021, The IGBC was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 Pollution Prevention (P2) award. These awards have exemplified the growth and impact that this program has achieved in the last 5 years.

The Iowa Green Brewery Certification is not stopping at the five-year mark! We are always looking to continue working with the great craft breweries of Iowa. If an Iowa brewery that you know is looking to make a positive, sustainable impact, please contact us at and visit our website at

We extend our gratitude to all craft breweries in Iowa that are focusing on environmental stewardship, as well as the consumers who choose to support these sustainable Iowa businesses.

Cheers to another 5 years!

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