Toast Ale — tackling the food waste crisis by transforming bread into beer

“We waste bread at a colossal scale and so we saw an opportunity to use the principles of the circular economy to tackle a modern day problem”

The Climate Coalition
3 min readMar 6, 2021
Toast’s entire business model is based on sustainability.

Toast Ale has been sustainable since the day they started. Their beer is made using surplus bread that would otherwise have been wasted. The bread they use would have simply been thrown in the bin, adding to the huge food waste problem occurring globally. Food production is the biggest contributor to climate change but by using surplus bread Toast saves tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere whilst also using less land and water than conventional beer companies.

Not only this, but Toast donate all their profits to charity to fund systematic change that will help to create a fairer and less wasteful food system.

Toast’s entire business model is based on sustainability.

These industry leading initiatives are why they were chosen as 2020’s Green Heart Hero Small Business Winner.

We spoke to Louisa, Toast’s COO, about why they focus on sustainability and how other companies could follow their lead and become greener.

Toast’s entire business plan is focused on sustainability. What motivated you to use surplus bread to create beer?

“The oldest known beer recipes were based on the fermentation of bread as a way to preserve calories and nutrients. Today we waste bread at a colossal scale (approximately 44% of bread produced commercially is never eaten) and so we saw an opportunity to use the principles of the circular economy to tackle a modern day problem, whilst raising awareness of the systemic problems within the food system in an engaging way — by enjoying a cheeky pint.”

Toast Ale’s Louisa and Rob at 2020’s Green Heart Hero Awards

What further changes would you like to see in 2021 to protect our planet?

“We’d ultimately like to see the mandatory measurement and reporting of food waste by all organisations in the food supply chain. This will help us to understand the scale of the problem, inform policy, and incentivise businesses and entrepreneurs to respond creatively.”

Toast’s Rise Up series celebrates change for people and the planet. For example this Chocolate Stout is brewed with Divine Chocolate which supports sustainable forestry.

What is the one key thing you think all small businesses should do to become more sustainable?

“Conducting a basic carbon footprint analysis is an excellent place to start as it allows businesses to see their main sources of emissions and prioritise action to address those.”

Do you know of another small business that is leading the way towards a more sustainable future? If you do, why not nominate them for this year’s Green Heart Hero awards?

Head to to submit your nomination.



The Climate Coalition

The Climate Coalition is the largest group of people in the UK dedicated to tackling climate change, with our sister orgs @SCCscot and @SCCCymru