Our Environment

Green with Briess
The air we breath, water we drink and soil that produces our food all impact the quality of life for our communities and people. In 2005 Briess initiated “Green With Briess”, a formal program toward identifying our impact on the environment, starting with energy usage and emissions. A U.S. DOE energy audit bench marked usage at all production facilities, and led to a plan for efficiencies and reductions.

Since then, we have made significant progress. Initial capital investments, and process and system changes, have been reducing energy consumption and emissions the equivalent of almost 10 million fewer miles being driven each year. We have also addressed water usage and waste streams, and made a firm commitment for efficiency in new construction.

Today, our dedication to environmental sustainable extends from the fields that produce our barley to waste streams from our production plants. Our team of experienced, knowledgeable operations and plant managers from multiple plants and processes are working together to analyze, bench mark, measure and work toward improving efficiencies and our impact on the environment. “Green With Briess” has become part of our culture, an opportunity to improve the quality of life for our communities and people while producing high quality product to help our customers succeed. 

Current areas of focus


  • Partner with local utilities in 2017-2018 to conduct another Energy Assessment Audit, in the continuing quest to reduce electricity and natural gas requirements.
  • Upgrade to high efficiency lighting in each facility in manufacturing, warehouse and office spaces.

Water and Waste Streams

  • Track and bench mark water consumption and waste water discharge streams at each facility; develop plans for reductions and improvements.

New Construction/Acquisition

  • Pay particular attention to construction, operational and procurement procedures to minimize the input of water, raw materials and energy while producing a consistently high quality product.
  • Incorporate higher efficiency process systems with more precise control and the latest technologies in automation new construction.

Recent Accomplishments


  • Heat recovery systems reduce natural gas usage throughout a number of production plants
  • Waterloo Malthouse electrical consumption decreased nearly 20% over the course of five years, 2013-2017, through process and system changes that concurrently decreased water usage
  • Ralston Elevator in Wyoming reduced electrical consumption by 35% from 2015-2016, and another projected 30% from 2016-2017
  • Efficient lighting fixtures have been installed in the Chilton Central Distribution Center, Liquid Processing Plant and parts of the Manitowoc campus
  • Efficient lighting was built into the new Insta Grains® II plant, commissioned in 2016

 Water and Waste Streams

  • Waterloo Malthouse water usage was reduced  >65% over the course of five years, 2013-2017, through process and system changes.
  • More than 95% of all waste stream is recycled.
    • A comprehensive program separates wastes for alternative use or recycling
    • High-strength liquid waste generated by the Liquid Processing Plant is diverted from the local wastewater treatment plant to a bio-digester, where it helps generate a continuous 1.5 megawatts of electricity
    • On-site pretreatment at the Waterloo Malthouse reduces the impact of high-BOD effluent and generates sludge used for fertilizing local farm fields

New Construction/Acquisition
Acquisitions in 2013 and 2014 advanced Briess from manufacturer to vertically integrated grain processor, and aligned well with the Briess culture and Sustainability Program.

  • Network of experienced barley growers in unique barley growing regions
    • Many Briess barley growers in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota are family farmers, operated by fourth to first generation
    • Barley growers employ crop rotation, which helps naturally prepare fields for the next year’s crop
    • Gravity delivers irrigation water from the surrounding mountains to Bighorn Basin farmland in Wyoming
    • Experienced barley growers in Wyoming and Montana utilize flood irrigation to produce superior quality, high yielding barley for maximum use of farmland and resources.
    • Power plants powered by the Wyoming flood irrigation projects provide a majority of the power to the Bighorn Basin
    • Flood irrigation has created wetlands for wildlife, fowl and outdoor recreation
    • Dryland farming in Southern Montana makes the most of available moisture, occasionally supplemented by flood or pivot irrigation
    • Dryland farming in the Red River Valley barley region makes the most of available moisture
  • Ralston Elevator, Wyoming
    • The Ralston Elevator is connected by rail to the Manitowoc Elevator, decreasing the impact of transporting raw barley
    • The Manitowoc Elevator is connected by rail to two off-site malthouses
  • Manitowoc, WI—Malting and Barley Operation
    • In a cooperative arrangement with the Manitowoc Public Utility Company, the 22-acre Manitowoc Malting and Barley Operations receives steam to generate electricity, eliminating the need for additional gas-fired boilers
  • Chilton, WI—New Insta Grains® II Plant
    • Built with efficient lighting and incorporated higher-efficiency process systems with more precise control, and the latest technologies in automation