Molson Coors aims to halve carbon intensity by 2025

US-based brewer Molson Coors is targeting a zero-waste-to-landfill status across all of its major manufacturing facilities and a 50% reduction in carbon emissions as part of an ambitious new sustainability strategy that seeks to offset recent business growth.

Molson Coors, the world’s seventh largest brewer by volume, released its 2017 Beer Print Report this week, setting ambitious new targets across carbon, waste and water management.

“Doing business the right way has been core to who we are for generations. And given this new chapter in our company’s long history, we now have even greater responsibility to make a positive impact on the world,” Molson Coors’ global senior director of corporate responsibility Kim Marotta said.

“Our new sustainability strategy reflects our broadest set of goals to date – a comprehensive, long-term plan that will put us on the leading edge as we look to 2025.”

The new strategy marks the first time that Molson Coors has accounted for the acquisition of MillerCoors in October 2016 in its data collection and sustainability goals. The latest report reveals that 13 of Molson Coors’ major manufacturing facilities – sites that consist of facilities with more than 75 employees – achieved zero waste to landfill status in 2016. In total, waste sent to landfill was reduced by 56% last year.

Having cut annual carbon intensity by 5.8% in 2016, MillerCoors is targeting a reduction in absolute carbon emissions by 50% within direct business, a 20% cut across the value chain and a 10% reduction in malting operations.

The company has already claimed that converting production lines from steel to aluminium between the next two to four years could account for an 18% reduction in carbon emissions.

Targets for 2025 include improving water efficiency by 22% across breweries and achieving a 2.8 hectolitres (hl) of water per hl of beer production ratio. In 2016, the company cut its water-to-beer ratio to 4.42hl/hl and reduced water consumption by 0.6%. However, the combined water-to-beer ratio of both Molson Coors and MillerCoors operations is lower, at 3.53hl/hl.

Raising the bar

Other goals of the new strategy include a plan to source 100% of barley and hops from suppliers that comply with Molson Coors’ sustainability standards. The company will invest $100m in local communities, while efforts will be made to actively engage with women-owned or minority-owned businesses as suppliers.

The report from Molson Coors arrives one month after MillerCoors released its own sustainability report, revealing that the company used 15 billion fewer gallons of water across its value chain in 2016.

It was a supply chain management philosophy built on engagement over enforcement that enabled MillerCoors to reduce its water footprint by 17% last year, and the firm’s sustainability manager Marco Ugarte told edie that promoting water use best-practice to suppliers had been one of the primary drivers of this saving.

Matt Mace

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