The first edition of SMILEce training for microbrewers was held in Mullingar, Ireland from 20th to 24th March 2023. The training was attended by over 20 participants from Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania who were eager to learn about circular economy principles and how to apply them to their microbrewery businesses. During the training, the participants attended various workshops that focused on topics such as designing circular business models and transforming their businesses to become more sustainable and circular.
The programme kicked-off on Monday 20th March 2023 with an opening greeting and a networking session where participants got to know each other and received all the necessary information about the training programme and the week’s agenda.
On the second day participants took place in the first workshop of the training course titled “Circular economy in a nutshell” was presented by Jurij Giacomelli and Sebastian Žužek from Circular Business Academy. The workshop provided an overview of circular economy principles, and how they can be applied in microbrewery businesses. Microbrewers worked in groups to come up with circular solutions to improve their current business models. They also tested the Circularity Assessment Score designed specifically for assessing circular business model potential of microbreweries.
The training continued with a study visit to Bevcraft, a beer packaging solutions company based in Mullingar. The visit gave participants an insight into the latest technologies and innovations in packaging, and how they can be applied to microbrewery businesses. Participants also learned about the importance of sustainable packaging and its impact on the environment.
On the following day participant took part in a workshop titled “Strategic planning for future scenarios” carried out by Anita Vicenzi from CRN. The workshop focused on developing strategic plans for businesses in a rapidly changing world. The participants learned about the importance of scenario planning and how to use it to anticipate and prepare for future challenges.
The second workshop of the day titled “Networking for a more sustainable business” was led by Rupert Hasterok from CRN. The workshop focused on the importance of networking for sustainable and circular businesses. Participants created a stakeholder map in order to better understand which stakeholder have the most impact on their path to becoming more circular.
On the fourth day, Thursday 23th March 2023, participants took a study visit to Canvas Brewery which is a farmhouse brewery located in County Tipperary. The visit provided participants with an opportunity to learn about sustainable and circular farming and brewing practices. Participants learned about the importance of sustainable agriculture, and how it can be integrated into microbrewery businesses. They also learned about the use of renewable energy sources in brewing and the importance of waste reduction in creating a circular business model. The visit provided valuable insights into how microbreweries can adopt sustainable and circular practices to become more environmentally friendly and profitable.
At the end of the day participants took a trip to the Wide Street Brewing Company to experience a local microbrewery operation.
On the last day of the training project partners collected feedback from participants and determined next steps in designing the competence standard of the training course. Participant also received an official certification of attendance as the first SMILEce trainees.
Overall, the SMILEce training proved to be a fantastic opportunity for microbrewers to learn from each other and collaborate on circular economy solutions. Project partners are excited to design an online version of the training course and make it available through the project website at https://www.smilebrewing.com/ .