The brewing company set a 2012 target, back in 2010 through its Brewing a Better Future strategy, of 4.3 hl of water used per hl of product, which it achieved in 2011.

At the start of the company’s Brewing a Better Future in 2010, the company set a water consumption target of 3.7 hl of water to produce 1 hl of beer, cider, soft drinks and water by 2020.

“Thirty-nine of our production units are already below the target of 3.7hl/hl, although 20 sites still have water consumption higher than 7 hl/hl,” the company said.

In its 2012 sustainability report, Heineken said it has completed pilot tests in Greece and the Netherlands to upgrade treated brewery effluent to drinking-water quality, with the objective of using this reclaimed water at specific, non-critical areas in the packaging department.

“For the second year in a row, the main contributor to reduced water consumption was our production unit in Bergamo (Italy), making large improvements in the water consumption of the ammonia plant due to the installation of an evaporative condenser,” it said.

Improvements in cooling systems have also led to major savings in Jacarei (Brazil) and Graz (Austria), while the company’s Nigerian units in Kaduna and Lagos successfully decreased their water consumption by the use of effluent for floor cleaning and gardening purposes.

However, the company did not achieve its energy consumption target due to the acquisition of new businesses.

Heineken aimed to achieve 155 megajoules (MJ) per hl of product by 2012 but improvement was limited by the acquisition of a number of breweries that scored poorly on energy consumption. The company did, however, reduce consumption from 159 MJ/hl in 2011 to 157 MJ/hl in 2012.

“Our total group energy consumption would be 4MJ/hl lower if we did not include the new acquisitions. The new breweries will be brought within the scope of our sustainability journey in 2013 and we are still on track to meet our 2020 targets,” the company said.

The company aims to reduce the amount of water used for beverage production from 5.1 hl per hl of beer produced in 2008 to 3.7 hl in 2020.

In energy use, it aims to reduce the direct and indirect CO2 emissions from fossil fuels from 10.4 kg/hl in 2008 to 6.4 kg/hl in 2020.

Leigh Stringer

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