Heineken Reduces Carbon Emissions 26 Percent
Blog Entry by Gina-Marie Cheeseman in Corporate Social Responsibility
Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 5:30am
(3BL/JustMeans) - Heineken has reduced its carbon emissions by 26 percent since 2008, putting it very close to meeting its 2015 target of a 27 percent reduction. It is on track to meet its 2020 target of a 40 percent reduction. In 2013, the company famous for its beer, reduced carbon emissions by 119 kton, equivalent to 2,400 trips around the world with a 30-ton Heineken beer truck. There are two main ways the company has reduced its emissions: through energy efficiency measures and increasing the use of renewable energy.
Heineken’s percentage of renewable energy increased from 9.3 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2013, as outlined in its Sustainability Report 2013. The company participates in Solar Brew, funded by the EU, to demonstrate that large-scale solar thermal system integration in the brewing process is economically feasible. In 2013, the company completed the first part of its Solar Brew project for its brewery in Leoben-Goss, Austria, which will generate part of the heat required for the brewing process. In a brewery in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, the company installed 3,632 solar panels which supply all the electricity needs for the production process of the Wieckse Witte line of beers. In another brewery in the Netherlands, Heineken plans to build four wind turbines. The project is slated to be completed in 2015.
One way Heineken increases energy efficiency is through installing “green fridges,” which also meets the goal of reducing carbon emissions for refrigerators by 42 percent by 2015. Cooling contributes significantly to Heineken’s carbon footprint, so installing green fridges helps reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint. Heineken defines a green fridge as using hydrocarbon refrigerant, LED illumination, an energy management system, and energy efficient fans. A total of 99 percent of the 116,000 refrigerators Heineken bought in 2013 had one or more of these characteristics and 50 percent had all four. Since 2010, the company has reduced carbon emissions from refrigerators by 40 percent.
Heineken developed the David XL Green draught beer cooling system and launched it in 2012. The cooling system, now in 18 markets, stores and chills kegs in a fridge below the counter so the beer doesn’t have to travel far to the tap. This ensures every beer is served at the right temperature. The system also lowers energy consumption by 50 percent. In 2013, Heineken was recognized in the category “Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative of the Year” at the Canadean International Beer Awards in Prague for the cooling system.
Water is an important part of Heineken’s products, since beer is 95 percent water, so being a better water steward is important to the company. Heineken is close to meeting its 2015 target to reduce water use in breweries by 3.9 hl/hl. Last year, Heineken reduced water use in breweries to 4.1 hl/hl, a 20 percent reduction from 2008. The company is also concerned with water use in its crops, and has mapped and prioritized areas of the world under water-related risk. Last year it identified 23 “Priority One” sites where it will focus its immediate efforts. One area of focus is Spain, where its Spanish Operating Company reduced water use from 4.6 hl/hl in 2008 to 4.0 hl/hl in 2013.