By 2019, James' commitment to sustainability had evolved into an integral part of the brand. BrewDog employed over 2,000 people at the time, operated 100 bars worldwide, and had over 130,000 Equity Punk shareholders. While amazing beer remained at the heart of everything James did, incorporating sustainability into this world was now a matter of when, not if. Thus, in 2020, BrewDog announced that they would become the world's first carbon negative brewery – a significant step that would prompt the rest of the industry to commit to changing the way they do business. James collaborated closely with Mike Berners-Lee of Small World Consulting to calculate the business's carbon emissions and identify opportunities to offset them through authentic reforestation programs, which included a 9,308-acre plot of land in Scotland.