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San Diego businesses put the planet ahead of profits to go green

Experts say investments could pay off in long-run
Posted: 9:15 AM, Oct 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-07 13:23:04-04
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local brewery's decision to use compostable can holders is the latest example of San Diego companies deciding to go green.

Pure Project Brewery made the change last month, giving its customers an easier way to take home 4-packs of beer while still being environmentally friendly.

"You have to make that decision; do I wanna do the right thing, or do I wanna do the cheap thing," says Pure Project Co-Founder Mat Robar. He says every decision his company makes takes the environmental impact into account.

"It costs us a good amount of money to brew beer with organic and local ingredients, and sometimes it takes a little longer. Ultimately it's the right thing to do," says Robar.

The new can holders are made of recycled grain, leftover from the brewing process. They biodegrade in 200 days. And, if they wind up in the ocean by accident, they're safe for animals to eat.

Pure is one of the hundreds of San Diego companies emphasizing the planet over profits.

Right now, the San Diego Green Business Network lists more than 200 local companies as members.

Experts say it can help build a brand, attract a loyal customer base, and also help make money in the long run.

"The efficiencies of going green has significant business implications," says Heather Honea, the Chair of the Marketing Department at SDSU's Fowler College of Business.

"If you're trying to build a brand that's meaningful for consumers, you have to speak to the things they care about. Your brand has to be associated with the things they care about," says Honea.

In California, that includes environmental impact.

"If I'm deciding between product a and product b, I'm choosing the product that not only delivers a certain set of quality attributes but also is going to have the impact on my local community or local environment that I think is acceptable," she says.

Honea also says that investments in green technology and business practices may cost a lot of money upfront, but they tend to pay themselves off in the long run. She says that's especially true for companies that stay one step ahead of local and state laws.

At Pure, they say protecting the environment is their "North Star," a guiding principle for everything they do.

"It takes a little bit of effort," says Cheyna Swartz, the Tap Room Manager, "But it's definitely worth it."