The increasing costs, and in some cases scarcity, of raw materials across the globe has led companies such as SABMiller to focus on the efficiency of their resource usage and maximise the value extracted from their raw material supplies. To date research has investigated the alternative uses for solid wastes either within our manufacturing process or by selling them to other industries that are able to utilise it.
At the same time, growth in population coupled with economic growth, has led to a notable increase in the amount of waste being generated globally. These two aspects in conjunction with the pursuit of improved living standards, the dwindling availability of landfill sites and increasingly punitive legislation, have led to a situation where it is becoming prohibitively expensive to dispose of solid waste streams.
Consequently there is a strong incentive for SABMiller to minimise the amount of waste produced during the production process and to reuse or recycle the wastes that are unavoidable. In regard to breweries, the majority of wastes that are produced are recyclable or re-usable to some extent.
Why this is a priority
The majority of waste produced by our business is organic matter resulting from the brewing process. This includes spent grains, waste yeast and trub (sediment that appears at the bottom of a fermenter after fermentation has taken place). The remaining waste comprises damaged packaging (including broken bottles), kieselghur, effluent sludge from waste water treatment and other non-recyclable waste.
In managing waste generated by our businesses, we follow the principles of the waste hierarchy to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste in an efficient and, ultimately, value creating way. This requires us to use our resources efficiently and limit the disposal of waste to landfill.
Our position on on-site waste: the need to work towards zero-waste operations