MillerCoors toasts zero waste to landfill status after behaviour change drive

America's second-largest brewer has achieved landfill-free operations at all of its major breweries across the country, thanks to an enhanced focus on employee engagement and behaviour change.

MillerCoors Fort Worth Brewery in Texas reduced waste by 66 percent in 2015 compared to 2014

MillerCoors Fort Worth Brewery in Texas reduced waste by 66 percent in 2015 compared to 2014

MillerCoors yesterday (17 February) confirmed that Fort Worth Brewery in Texas was the final of its eight major breweries across the US to send zero waste to landfill, having reduced waste by 66% in the space of a year.

The site, which brews Coors Light, Foster’s and Mickey’s beer among others, established a ‘Sustainability Employee Council’ to lead education initiatives, change employee behaviours and make recycling easier throughout the facility.

Nearly 100% of brewery waste is now recycled or re-used, with a small amount going to a waste-to-energy facility.

“We didn’t reach this milestone overnight, nor can we attribute success to one department, one brewery or one employee,” said MillerCoors chief executive Gavin Hattersley, MillerCoors CEO. “The entire MillerCoors family is committed to ensuring a sustainable future for our company and the communities in which we work and live.”

Sustainable Future

MillerCoors’ journey to landfill-free operations began in 2009 when the company set a goal to reduce brewery waste by 15%. Trenton Brewery in Ohio was MillerCoors’ first landfill-free location, igniting a waste reduction drive across the business. Since 2009, MillerCoors has reduced its total waste by 89% - equal to keeping more than four thousand tonnes of waste out of local landfills.

These milestones all form part of the company’s ‘Brewing a Sustainable Future’ sustainability strategy, which is focused on reducing water and energy use and eliminating waste. By 2020, the brewer aims to achieve landfill-free operations at all its major manufacturing sites in the US.

MillerCoors director of sustainability Kim Marotta said: “As we continue our journey to brew a sustainable future, maintaining landfill-free operations at all our major breweries will make a significant impact.

“While we continuously strive to reduce waste, we will also remain focused on our other sustainability priorities, including preventing drunk driving, further decreasing our water use, lowering our carbon emissions, and making greater investment in our people and our communities.”

Water conservation

In an exclusive interview with edie, Marotta said water consumption would be a big focus area for MillerCoors' sustainability strategy going forward. "Our employees are constantly looking for ways to make small changes within the brewing process to reduce water use," she said.

"Within our supply chain, we look for partners to collaborate with - from local water conservation groups to our individual barley growers, whose insights and knowledge help us brew beer more sustainably." 

Last year, edie reported that MillerCoors was embracing on-site renewable energy solutions with the completion of a 3.2MW solar array at its California production site - the largest solar installation of any US brewery at that time.

Resource Efficiency at edie Live 2016

How do you ensure your business is protected from scarcity in the supply chain? How do you reduce usage and find ways to reduce your waste outputs at the same time? Who is responsible and how do you effect change on an organisational level?

From specific strategies and solutions to analysis of the broader issues at play, the Resource Efficiency Theatre at edie Live 2016 in May is a must-attend for any business, small or large, seeking to reduce their consumption, minimise their waste outputs and mitigate risk in their supply chains.

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Luke Nicholls


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