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Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing

January 30, 2014 | 4:30PM
Evans Hall, Rm 2420
Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing

New Belgium Brewery

Fat Tire, Slim Footprint: Crafting Sustainable Beers & Brands

A discussion of sustainability motivations, initiatives and messaging in the craft brew industry featuring Jenn Vervier, Director of Strategy and Sustainability at New Belgium Brewing and Chris O’Brien, author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World.
Thursday, January 30th
4:30 - 5:30pm EST
Evans Hall Room 2420
Invitation to join SOM Closing Bell for craft brews and sushi immediately following
Follow us @YaleCBEY #enviromktg
Fresh, foamy and deliciously hoppy, craft brews and sustainability seem to go hand-in-hand. This is one industry where brewers tend to take an interest in being green and consumers are willing to pay a premium over the mass-produced competition. But, what makes craft beer an industry that is particularly interested in sustainability? Is it a unique target market or something special about beer itself?

Jenn Vervier, Director of Strategy and Sustainability
Jenn Vervier started on the bottling line at New Belgium Brewing Company over 19 years ago.  She became NBB’s first Chief Financial Officer and later the Chief Operating Officer.  As the Director of Sustainability her responsibilities include the sustainability management system, corporate responsibility reporting, greenhouse gas accounting, natural resource management, legislative advocacy, and philanthropy.  As Director of Strategic Development, Jenn oversees New Belgium’s strategic planning process, public/private partnerships, and property development—including finding and securing the home of NBB’s first site outside of Colorado in Asheville, NC.  Jenn’s a collaborator and a connector, creating opportunities to expand New Belgium’s business role model practices both within and without the brewery. Jenn received a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Washington College in Maryland.  She also holds an MBA in Finance from Regis University and completed the course work for a Masters in Applied Ethics from Colorado State University.

Chris O'Brien, Author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World
In 2009 Chris became American University's first Director of Sustainability. He is responsible for sustainability policy, planning, outreach and implementation. Previously, he directed the Responsible Purchasing Network at the Center for a New American Dream, and earlier served as Managing Director of the Green Business Network and the Fair Trade Federation. He is Treasurer of the Fair Trade Resource Network, and co-owns the Seven Bridges Organic Brewing Supply Cooperative. He serves on the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Advisory Board, the Green Advantage Board, The Sustainable Purchasing Council board of directors, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's STARS Steering Committee. In 2006, Chris authored the award-winning book Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World (New Society Publishers). He twitters about greening the American dream at He has a BA in Liberal Studies from Penn State and a MS Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Colloquium in Sustainability Marketing 
The Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing at Yale sponsored by DEKRA aims to unravel and address the challenges of creating environmentally sustainable products, services and brands that customers love. 
In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in building sustainable brands with “green” and cause-based marketing. Major brands such as Johnson & Johnson, GE and BMW are launching green product lines. Critical buyers are also paying attention. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Office Depot and Wholefoods require greater transparency into the sustainability of the products they sell, and large institutional buyers such as the US Federal Government and Universities demand more sustainable products and verified claims. Given the current green noise and plethora of marketing approaches, the claim that a product is more sustainable is being critically evaluated. Brands making green claims are being forced to address significant environmental aspects across their life cycle.
Despite all of this recent activity, in order to achieve a substantial impact, products that are more environmentally sustainable need to be able to reach an even wider audience and gain more market share. How can we create sustainable products that resonate with customers? How do we develop brands that will bring greener products into the mainstream? How do companies coordinate internally and with their supply chains to make and sell more sustainable products? How do companies and buyers ensure that products are indeed more sustainable, and ensure that valid claims are trusted by consumers?
The Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and the Yale Center for Customer Insights is pleased to present Colloquim in Sustainable Marketing. The speaker series is sponsored by DEKRA. The event is free and open to the public.