Carlsberg has taken a major step in its mission to make its beer as green as the label on its cans and bottles, by fuelling one of its breweries entirely on biogas – action that has enabled the Danish brewer to cut all carbon emissions generated from thermal energy and electricity to zero.
The sustainable brewing plant is part of a range of initiatives the brewer has launched under its Together Towards Zero banner, which sets itself the target of lowering it carbon footprint by 30% by 2030. Carlsberg’s Falkenberg brewery in Sweden is the company’s first to be completely sustainable, though the brewer has set itself the target of eliminating carbon emissions from all breweries within 12 years.
74% of the power required to run the plant comes from biogas supplied by Danish energy supplier, Ørsted AB, while the remaining 26% is generated from the waste water from the brewery. Not its first foray into sustainability, Carlsberg last year announced that it had made a change to its production process for beer bottles and will now be made from a bio-based green fibre material.
Ted Akiskalos, managing director at Carlsberg, said that the decision to install a fully sustainable plant that removes the need for fossil fuels to power it was the product of “many, many years” of work. “We have been working to create a more efficient brewery with as little impact on our environment as possible. It is motivating that we now take a big step forward and use solely carbon neutral energy sources", affirmed Akiskalos.
Making the move to biogas easier for Carlsberg, Sweden has an established and fully-functioning biogas industry that allowed the brewer to convert to fully renewable sources by buying green energy. To mitigate emissions in countries which have less mature biogas markets, Carlsberg will use other solutions to achieve carbon neutrality – such as solar and purchasing renewable energy.
Carlsberg is one of currently 327 companies committed to lowering carbon emissions as part of the Science-Based Targets initiative – in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C. Carlsberg Group has set an industry-leading 1.5 degree ambition compared to the Paris agreement’s base-level 2°C goal.
That target has been picked up by The Carbon Trust, which recognises Carlsberg as one of only three major companies that have set and approved targets with this level of ambition. “Seeing this first Carlsberg brewery make this transition so soon is very encouraging and should be seen as a demonstration of how industries can embrace new technologies to mitigate climate change,” said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust.
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