Galveston Bay Foundation's Bay Area Business of the Year

The Galveston Bay Foundation's "Bay Business of the Year" award has been presented to the Anheuser-Busch Houston Brewery. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports that the award goes to a business that uses the bay in a sustainable fashion, allowing for resources to be enjoyed by current and future generations.

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The Galveston Bay Foundation was formed 20 years ago with the idea of protecting the bay by working with all factions who affect the bay, commercial, industrial and recreational.

"...and bring them around the table and get them talking about working together in Galveston Bay's long term interest."

Foundation President Bob Stokes.

"We recognize that there are defiantly different uses, occasionally those uses are going to conflict, we'll try to sort through those when it occurs, but we know that all of those users can play their part in insuring that we have a healthy Galveston Bay not only in 2007, but in 2017 and 2027 and so on and so on."

Stokes says the Bay Business of the Year award was designed to showcase the green things that companies are doing, many above what is required.

One of the things that Anheuser-Busch Houston is doing is a lot of recycling.

"We recycle 99.7 percent of all our incoming materials. That takes the form of grain that comes in for our product, malt and rice and hops that come out of the brew house process, those are sold as cattle feed, but also strapping material, boxes, things like that all get recycled."

Steve Ghiglieri is senior plant manager at the Houston brewery. He says for every four aluminum cans they uses they recycle five. Later, while touring the brewery Ghiglieri said beechwood chips are used for aging, but it cost $100 thousand dollars to recycling them.

"Things like our beechwood chips go out as compost but we have to pay to have them taken away from here.ξ It's a decision, do you want to fill a land fill, which you know is not a goods thing to do, or do you want to pay to recycle it and so we pay to recycle it."

But these days being green can have an economic benefit for a company. Anheuser-Busch has a Bio-Energy Recovery System that converts nutrients in left over water from the brewing process into renewable biogas that in turn provides almost 18 percent of the Houston brewery's fuel needs.ξ For these and other reasons, community involvement, Anheuser-Busch Houston was honored with the Galveston Bay Foundation's second annual Bay Business of the Year award.

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