Czech Republic: Turning waste into energy in the Czech Republic
This year, Plzeňský Prazdroj in the Czech Republic has worked on a number projects to help reduce its total energy use. One innovation is a device that turns draff (the grain left over after malted barley has been boiled and the liquid filtered out for fermentation) into a renewable fuel.
The brewery in Plzeň produces about 80,000 tonnes of draff every year. The new device dries the spent grains so they can be burnt in boilers to supply heat and electricity with lower carbon emissions. The processed spent grain is sold to the local energy supplier who uses it as a co-fuel in the combustion plant that supplies both the brewery and the local community. The project helps to reduce the heating plant's use of coal by approximately 10,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to 13,320 tonnes CO2 emissions.
Malawi: Reusing brewery waste in agriculture
Pursuing its ambition to become a zero-waste operation, Chibuku Products Limited (CPL) in Malawi has initiated a number of projects to develop ways of reusing brewery waste – for example, using waste Chibuku cartons as pots for seedlings or coal ash from brewery boilers to resurface pavements.
To support Malawi's agriculture – a key contributor to the country's economy – CPL collects and dries the spent grains generated through the production of Chibuku beer. This can then be used by local farmers as either animal feed or fertiliser.
USA: Great beer, less waste
MillerCoors reuses or recycles more than 99% of its brewery waste. This includes the protein-rich residual brewer's grain and spent yeast as well as broken glass, aluminium, plastic, wood and other materials. MillerCoors turns some of this waste into energy, compost and soil conditioner for its own use. Remaining by-products go to companies that use them for other purposes. In September 2012, for example, MillerCoors finalised plans to use waste from its Trenton Brewery to create high-protein food for farm-raised fish.
Thanks to its waste-reduction efforts and success in achieving zero waste to landfill at four of its eight major breweries, MillerCoors has been invited to participate on industry panels to help educate other organisations on becoming zero waste to landfill. These include an independent standards and definitions panel for Underwriters Laboratories and the US Zero Waste Business Council's Business Advisory Board which aims to develop a standardised third-party business certification programme to recognise and motivate policies and practices for zero waste in the USA