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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Strategic CSR - Beer pipeline

The article in the url below presents an innovative approach to reducing congestion in Bruges, Belgium:
"Xavier Vanneste, heir to a dynasty of beer brewers in this medieval city, had a pipe dream. When he woke up and looked out of his window one spring morning, he saw workers on the street laying underground utility cables in front of his house, situated on the same ancient square as the brewery he runs. 'I immediately realized this was the solution,' Mr. Vanneste said. The brewery's truck fleet had been bottling up the city's narrow, cobblestone streets. Matters had been getting worse since 2010, when the brewery moved its bottling facility out of town. His brain wave? A beer pipeline."
Four years after he first imagined it, the pipeline is no longer a dream. It opened this summer:
"It stretches 2 miles from the brewery, De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon, in the city center to the bottling plant in an industrial area. It will be able to carry 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph. Hundreds of truck trips a year will no longer be necessary."
In addition to the innovative means of distribution, the project was funded via a creative, ground-up financing model:
"The citywide attention gave Mr. Vanneste another idea. He'd partly fund the €4 million ($4.5 million) investment by offering lifetime supplies of beer. Attracted by the liquid returns, brew-lovers sank some €300,000 into the project. They were offered three options. The most expensive 'gold' membership, which costs €7,500, entitles the holder to an 11-ounce bottle of Brugse Zot beer (retail price, €1.70) every day for life, along with 18 personalized glasses."
I see more beer bonds in our future, as well as a beer pipeline in every major city! All, of course, in the interests of reducing traffic congestion:
"The city of Bruges, which last year attracted 6.6 million tourists, has long been looking for solutions to reduce traffic in its historic center—a Unesco World Heritage site known for its canals and medieval architecture. 'The pipeline is a breakthrough,' said Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges, which was the economic capital of Northern Europe between 1200 and 1400. Mr. Landuyt said he would even consider constructing pipelines for other goods, including chocolate, one of Belgium's other precious commodities."
Take care
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Brewery Builds a Pipeline, Sending Beer Lovers Into a Froth
By Matthias Verbergt
May 5, 2016
The Wall Street Journal