We aim to create value through reducing waste and carbon emissions
Brewing, packaging, and cooling our beer all generate greenhouse gas emissions, which we are committed to reducing, while growing our business in a resource-efficient way.
We are on track to halve our on-site greenhouse gas emissions per hectolitre of lager between 2008 and 2020.
Brewing is a natural champion of a circular business model that drives business and environmental value. Around 97% of spent grain from our breweries is reused, typically sold as animal feed or as a renewable fuel, and in the year we recycled 89% of brewery waste (2015: 90%). In addition, 40 of our breweries now have generators which run on biogas captured from waste water treatment plants. During the year, all of MillerCoors’ major breweries became landfill-free.
Reduce, recycle, reuse
More than half of our beer is sold in returnable bottles or kegs, which are more carbon- and resource-efficient than cans or plastic bottles. However, in Europe, the percentage of beer sold in returnable packaging is declining. As a response, our Polish business recently launched an online commercial on the environmental and financial value of returnable bottles. This is a positive step, but we acknowledge there is a lot more to do to reverse this decline and rethink the future of packaging for beer.
Another big challenge is to deal with post-consumer packaging waste, which is an increasingly visible problem, particularly in Africa and Latin America. In Colombia and Honduras, our businesses have partnered with local stakeholders to develop recycling solutions in areas where returnable bottles are not viable.
Average greenhouse gas emissions by packaging type (kgCO2e/hl per SKU):
Can fridges cool the climate?
Beer is best served cold. However, the energy used to run fridges and the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that cool them both contribute to climate change. Our target is to purchase 100% HFC-free fridges by 2020, and last year we introduced a new policy that all new fridges must be equipped with energy management devices (EMDs) and LED lights, where available.
During the year, SABMiller was the first major brewer to join Refrigerants, Naturally!, an initiative that promotes the use of natural refrigerants in fridges in bars and shops.
In Africa, some of our brands are exploring solar cooling and we consider this to be an exciting future opportunity.
Reducing supply chain emissions
Over 80% of our primary packaging suppliers (by spend) now report their carbon emissions into the CDP Supply Chain Program.
CDP is an independent industry facing carbon reporting organisation, which facilitates the collection of data on all direct and indirect emissions from our suppliers. Through this process, we know that our suppliers have achieved a combines 2.3% reduction in our overall CO2 footprint.
We continue to work in partnership with our suppliers to meet our target to reduce our total value chain carbon footprint by 25% by 2020.