19 May 2011
Today we announced that our Brewing Research Facility (BRF) based at the University of Nottingham has started its first trials.
Many breweries around the world have a pilot facility, but this one is quite different. This isn't a place where we'll test new flavours of beer or develop the latest packaging craze. This facility is a critical factor in us becoming a more sustainable brewer and is key to us achieving our water and energy efficiency targets.
In 2008 we were the first major global brewer to set a target to reduce water use per litre of beer - aiming to improve efficiency by 25% by 2015; and in 2009 we announced that by 2020 we will reduce fossil fuel emissions from our breweries by 50% per litre of beer produced.
Those targets are stretching, but they are achievable - particularly if we are ahead of the curve in working with suppliers to develop and trial new technologies.
Last year we talked about the Brewery of Future - imagining what scenarios we might need to adapt to in the future and new models of breweries to meet those challenges. The BRF will play an important role in helping us simulate some of those scenarios, and developing the technology and processes needed for adaptation.
Of course, we're not going to achieve this on our own. We can't work in isolation, and this is where the power of partnerships comes into play. On water we already have some extremely effective partnerships with organisations like WWF; and with the commissioning of the BRF, I hope our long standing relationship with the University of Nottingham will take brewing technology to a whole new level.