Carlsberg demonstrates CSR credentials with reduced energy consumption

Global brewer Carlsberg has reduced its energy consumption and agreed a new strategy for sustainable packaging, according to its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report released today.

Carlsberg claims the report demonstrates that it is on track to reach its three-year Corporate CSR targets set for the end of 2013 having already met its target of reducing energy consumption by 10% since 2011 to 29.1kW per hectolitre of beer. 

In addition, 13 of Carlsberg’s breweries now capture biogas from wastewater treatment operations and 60 of its 76 sites have been recognised for environmental management achievements with ISO 140001 accreditation.

However, Carlsberg is still using 3.3 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer despite its target to reduce this by 9% to 3.2 hectolitres by the end of the year.

Carlsberg’s director of corporate social responsibility Morten Nielsen said: “Brewing requires a healthy environment. Most of our raw materials are ingredients which are sourced directly from nature, and we work targetedly to limit the environmental impact of our activities.

“We search for opportunities at every point in our value chain, be it ongoing research and development into our raw materials, ever-improving efficiency opportunities at our production sites, or more environmentally friendly ways of storing and transporting our products.”

For example, at Carlsberg’s Dali brewery in China, the purchase of a new boiler, together with the collection of biogas from the wastewater treatment plant, helped reduce energy consumption by 28.5% in 2012.

Similarly, its Gorkha brewery in Nepal reduced its energy usage by 18.5% as a result of a series of initiatives which means that 98% of its primary energy supply now comes from renewable resources.

According to Nielsen, Carlsberg also came to a decision in 2012 to focus on making its packaging more sustainable. The company identified that approximately 45% of its CO2 emissions could be attributed to packaging so it has introduced a Life Cycle Analysis tool and appropriate training for staff.

Nielsen said: “We’re considering all aspects of the packaging chain, from cradle to cradle, and rethinking the way that the group and its suppliers approach packaging, based around four core principles – reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink.”

The brewer also says that it is making significant CSR improvements by working across its value chain.

For example, 2012 was the third year in which Carlsberg’s Polish business cooperated with major retailers in setting up a waste collection scheme, encouraging consumers to bring back household packaging waste, such as cans, glass and plastic bottles, receiving plant seedlings in return.

The full CSR report will be available here from 3pm.

Conor McGlone

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