Brewer Bavaria joins Heinz and Mars distribution deal to cut CO2 emissions

Dutch brewer Bavaria has signed a shared transportation agreement with Heinz and Mars to move their products across Europe by inland waterways as a new initiative designed to cut CO2 emissions.

Although the UK is known for its canals, the size of the waterways in Europe makes transport by barge, a more sustainable solution if the volumes being shipped are large enough.

Beer coming to the UK is shipped in 45ft containers aboard river barges that head to the port of Rotterdam every day.

By sharing the barge with confectionary from Mars and ketchup from Heinz, the full load ensures the environmental impact of distribution is significantly reduced for the three companies.

Bavaria UK managing director Mike Teague commented: “In recent years, Bavaria has undertaken a range of measures to reduce emissions associated with transportation”.

The brewer sends its beers across Europe by train and is now the first brewer in Europe to switch its distribution fleet to trucks that meet the low-emission European standards.

Teague said: “We have to accept that the more we sell in the UK, the more we have to ship from Holland. There’s no substitute for the natural mineral water we use from the spring under the brewery, so we do everything we can to ensure our beers are sustainable. And that includes the shipping methods.

“From the feedback we’ve had from our customers in the UK, we know they share our approach to sustainability and they have welcomed this initiative,” he added.

Through the initiative, Bavaria is aiming to encourage other European brewers and manufacturers to follow and start shipping to Rotterdam by barge for their global exports.

In recent years the measures taken by Bavaria have reduced CO2 emissions associated with transport by 28%.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie