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Business

Mill Street Brewery – Setting The Bar For Energy Efficiency

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Mill Street Brewery, born out of the Toronto Distillery District, their story begins with the emergence of a small red brick brewery back in 2002. Over the last two decades, one thing has consistently taken precedence over their process. Care and consideration for their environmental footprint on the commercial and local level. 

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), in association with the National Retail Federation, conducted a research study of 18,980 consumers in 28 countries. Some of this data reported 57% of consumers would pivot their spending habits for more environmentally friendly brands. In line with the efforts by the Mill Street Brewery team, the study also reports 77% of consumers consider sustainability and environmentally responsible brands important when asked about their spending habits. 

Not often do we deep dive into what our favourite brands are proactively doing to increase their green initiatives, whether it be energy efficiency, consumption, recycling or waste management. Fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Kaitlin Vandenbosch, Brewmaster for Mill Street Brewery and Bennie Dingemanse, Head Brewer at the Mill Street Brewery Calgary Brewpub to discuss their efforts as an organization and also what it means to their team as they continue to improve their environmentally friendly initiatives. 

An interesting story to tell behind this brand, continuing to produce their Original Organic Lager since the day their doors opened. Continuously seeking new ways as a team to reduce their energy consumption and environmental footprint. Serving local areas in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and St. Johns, Mill Street is the largest producer of certified organic beer in Canada. The best part is that their certified organic pale barley malt is Canadian grown & processed. The barley they use is grown in Saskatoon and Alberta, then malted in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Kaitlin offers some additional insight into sourcing local as an organization.

“It used to be very difficult to find raw organic materials back in 2002, over the years we have worked very closely with the barley malt industry in North America and Canada Malting. Since 2007, working with these organizations, we were able to transition all of our organic malts to be grown in Canada on the prairies and they certified their facility in Thunder Bay to process that malt for us. Around 15-20 Canadian farmers grow the grains that are used in our organic beers.”

Being one of the largest breweries in Canada, the importance of having educated professionals working as a team to implement set targets to work towards is a great way to continuously improve and reduce their emissions. Kaitlin mentions exceeding some of the targets they set for 2019. 

“For 2019, we had targets set a for 10% energy and water reduction and a 4% increase in waste divergence. We exceeded all of those targets. Working with our various operations and maintenance teams, engineers, the city and the companies that pick up our waste. We have had a 12.5% reduction in energy usage, a 17% decrease in water consumption, and a 12.5% increase in divergence of waste. It is something that we are always looking at both in our production facility and our brewpubs.”

Mill Street has one Brewpub location in Calgary managed by Head Brewer, Bennie Dingemanse. Located on 17th Avenue SW, serving Mill Street house-brewed products and great food in the most vibrant part of the city. The green initiatives continue to be a key driver for the Brewpub team, Bennie offers his thoughts on working towards a cleaner future in his Calgary location. 

“We divert our waste stream from our restaurant with our waste collection service providers. After collecting data from just our first quarter, we saved 2.2 barrels of oil, we saved about 14 trees, close to 4,000Kw/h of energy and 22,000 liters of water just by diverting our waste and having it properly disposed of. Another thing we do on the Brewpub level is looking at new methods when cleaning our tanks, where we analyze our water usage and work towards minimizing our wastewater while achieving the same result.”

Not only that, but Bennie and his team have proactively found ways to have their waste material exported so that it can be repurposed for commercial use by local merchants. One example is a partnership with coRISE, who actively utilize spent grain from the Calgary Brewpub for baked goods to sell in the local community. Bennie and his team have also been extracting sugar from spent material, combining it with food waste from the restaurant to be turned into compost.

As we continue to navigate this mid-to-post pandemic; breweries, restaurants and bars alike have adopted eCommerce to serve their customers. Mill Street has a variety of options to continue offering its house-brewed products and menu. Delivery is available on UberEats, SkipTheDishes, Doordash and from their Calgary website. As an added benefit, Bennie mentions that they recently updated their delivery radius to service areas outside of the downtown core.

Visiting The Mill Street Calgary Brewpub

To stay updated, Bennie recommends following his location on social media for any future updates on guidelines or new product releases. On the Brewpub level, following all Alberta Health Services recommendations in regards to capacity and sanitization. They have implemented new cleaning policies, hand sanitizer as you enter and staff are washing their hands regularly. Recently partnering with a local startup called LivCity that has developed an app for contactless ordering from your table using your smartphone, mitigating interactions between customers and staff in the efforts of social distancing. 

If you would like to learn more about the forward-thinking initiatives being implemented by the Mill Street Brewery team, or to browse their wide array of products available, visit their main website here, Calgary Brewpub website or follow them on their social media accounts below.

 

Mill Street Brewery Facebook

Mill Street Brewery Twitter

Mill Street Calgary Brewpub Facebook

 

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

Alberta

Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023

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Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.

As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.

At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.

The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.

“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.

“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”

Launa Aspeslet, interim chief executive officer, Edmonton Unlimited

“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”

Terry Rock, president and chief executive officer, Platform Calgary 

Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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Economy

Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.

After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.

Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.

The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.

Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.

“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.

“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”

In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.

Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”

“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.

Conservatives blast increased debt

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.

Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”

CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”

She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”

During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.

“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”

Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”

“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.

A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.

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