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Case studies

Ten Priorities. One Future.

Local action

Our approach to sustainable development is to set out an overall framework but to give our operations the flexibility to implement programmes that best meet their local circumstances.

View the case studies below to see how we implement our 10 sustainable priorities locally.

Farmers working in a field

MillerCoors increases transport efficiency by almost 20%

MillerCoors truck

One result of the MillerCoors joint venture has been to improve transport efficiency by almost 20%.

Before the joint venture, both Miller and Coors were transporting some of their products large distances to reach all areas of the USA. This was particularly the case with Coors, with its brewery in Golden, Colorado. The saving has been achieved by brewing Coors Light and other Coors brands in Miller breweries and Miller products in Coors breweries. It is estimated to equate to 45 million fewer miles travelled, 325,000 barrels of crude oil saved and a reduction in CO2 emissions of nearly 75,000 tonnes by the end of 2010.

There is further scope to raise efficiency by increasing load weights. This project is still in its early stages but offers considerable savings.

India: Energy from rice husks

Rice husk boiler

SABMiller India has invested in renewable energy sources including agtriculatural waste. In May 2007 the first rice husk boiler was installed as part of the expansion of the Rochees brewery in Rajasthan.

The boiler uses agricultural waste, typically rice husk, as fuel. The many benefits include reducing manufacturing and fuel costs (especially as the price of rice husk is relatively stable); reducing the brewery’s dependence on scarce fossil fuels; and generating extra income for local farmers from the sale of the husks. In addition, rice husk ash can be sold on for use as a cement filler, an insulator in steel mills and an input for activated silica extraction.

The initiative has been so successful it has been extended to two other breweries in Andhra Pradesh and the new greenfield brewery in Haryana.

Czech Republic: 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.

South Africa: Super smart about power

With South Africa facing power shortages over the next seven years, the South African government is requiring businesses to cut the power they use by 12% to 15%. SAB is a signatory to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) Energy Efficiency Accord which promotes voluntary co-operation in meeting national energy efficiency targets. The ‘Super Powers’ campaign at SAB Ltd is one tool towards this end.

With the tag line, ‘Super smart about power’, the campaign engages staff, raises awareness of the issue and encourages employees to suggest ideas as to how and where energy can be saved. As an incentive, an energy-efficient fridge was offered as a prize at each site. By the end of the campaign in November 2008, employees had submitted 381 suggestions.

The Super Powers campaign is just one element of a far wider initiative which has so far reduced SAB’s energy consumption by up to 10%.