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Using water more efficiently

Five hands grabbing a ring of water

URSUS breweries in Romania has been reducing the amount of water they need to make each litre of beer.  Much of the progress has come from the installation of a new brewhouse at the Timisoreana brewery which is set to increase output from 21,000 to 75,000 hectolitres per week.  This in itself will improve the water-to-beer ratio.

In addition to the water-efficient technology in the new brewhouse, URSUS has invested in other technologies to cut its use of water.  All new production streams now have systems that recover water from the brewing stages for use in cleaning processes that don’t need high quality water. More accurate process controls and better water-monitoring systems have also made a difference.

These changes have led to over a 15% improvement in water efficiency across the group of breweries.  

Reducing the carbon footprint

Pilsen brewery

During the first trading period of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, our Czech business, Plzenský Prazdroj, reduced its carbon emissions by over 50% against its allocated allowance, despite increasing its beer production. This figure is even more impressive when compared to the equivalent figure for Czech industry as a whole – an average of just 6%.

The main economies were achieved by modernising the brewhouse at the Pilsen brewery. The new facility is able to cut CO2 emissions from 15,000 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes per annum – a reduction of approximately 87%. In addition, biogas from the waste water treatment plants is now being used as an auxiliary fuel at two other Czech breweries.

Reducing CO2 emissions enabled Prazdroj to sell surplus allowances at auction in 2006 and invest the money in further environmental projects.

'Young Entrepreneur of the Future'

Young Entrepreneur of the Future winners

Our Hungarian business Dreher Breweries is a firm believer in the country’s entrepreneurial spirit and is keen to improve the business skills of young Hungarians. This year is the third time it has run the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Future’ competition for students from colleges and universities across Hungary.

Over 100 students entered and the 10 best had the opportunity to present their business ideas to the professional judging panel, demonstrating the uniqueness and feasibility of their enterprise as well as their own ability. The panel then selected the top three: the first place was given to the creator of a special dental technology software; second place went to an enterprise creating innovative solutions; and third place was given to an enterprise designing and building roof gardens.

The three winners shared seed capital totalling over US$34,000, and received six months’ free professional consultation.

Protecting the Danube delta

The Danube delta, which lies in Romania and Ukraine, was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Our Romanian brewery, URSUS, has been working to protect the area and improve the quality of its water for many years. In recognition of its conservation activities, URSUS was invited by Romanian MEP Victor Bostinaru to present at a conference entitled ‘The Danube Delta: Nature and Sustainability in Europe’ held in Brussels in December 2008.

The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the unique character of the Danube delta and the way the region should be integrated into future European development projects. Attended by MEPs, the Romanian government and NGOs such as Cousteau Foundation, WWF and Friends of Nature International, this prestigious event also allowed URSUS to engage with stakeholders on water, one of the ten sustainable development priorities.

Involving employees

Screen shot of Kompania Piwowarska CSR report

Like the rest of the group, our Polish operation, Kompania Piwowarska (KP), strives for transparency in its sustainable development reporting. This involves publishing a CSR report, articles in the company’s internal magazine and sharing good practice both internally and with partners.

A further development is the ‘In Tune with Nature’ programme, a pioneering long-term ecological scheme supported by the recycling and environmental protection authorities. Its aim is to educate employees and their families about their daily environmental footprints, emphasising that it pays to consider the environment. The programme’s website presents materials submitted by employees and their families, with a special section for children, and has been placed on an external server to ensure access from home.

As part of involving its employees, KP has organised events such as an environmental contest (with the chance of winning bike accessories and other environmental prizes) and the ‘Green Wardrobe Scheme’, which promotes clothes recycling.

Our priorities: Transparency & ethics

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Peroni brewery fire

A Peroni Bari brewery employee

On Friday 25 July 2008, a fire broke out at Peroni’s Bari brewery in southern Italy at 10.15am. Everyone on the premises was immediately evacuated and this potentially disastrous event was swiftly dealt with. Very soon after the start of the fire, an internal communication confirmed that all staff members were safe.

Disaster was averted by effective procedures and the prompt actions of the staff. The contribution of Bari employees was recognised when the restored areas were reopened. Part of the inauguration was a presentation of awards to allow the company to express its gratitude to its employees and the local community. Commemorative plaques were given to four employees who particularly distinguished themselves by their courageous response. The inauguration was timed to coincide with the Italy vs Ireland football match in Bari to which all 150 employees were invited.

Linking a brand and the environment

A bottle of Zubr

Our Polish operation, Kompania Piwowarska, has shown how a brand can be linked to the notion of environmental responsibility, to achieve both commercial and community benefits. Żubr is Poland’s second-biggest beer brand, with strong associations with the Białowie, a forest in the Podlasie region of Poland where it is brewed. Since 2004 the Żubr brand has supported the Białowie, a National Park, and a herd of local European bison after which it is named. It also supports ecological initiatives involving local communities all over Poland.

In 2008 Żubr launched its ‘wake-up call’ – a grant pool of approximately US$40,000 open to all adults in the region, with ideas on how to change their communities for the better. Winners are decided by a local jury and a public vote. From the 75 ideas submitted in 2008, four initiatives were awarded a grant. The winning ideas included a mobile cinema for small villages, a Jewish cultural festival and a feature film showcasing Podlasie.

Our priorities: Products and quality

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