Molson Coors targets waste and reduces carbon emissions

The UK's biggest brewer has set out its environmental goals for the future, promising to divert all production waste away from landfill for each of its four sites by the end of 2012.

Increasing costs and a drive to become a more sustainable business has led Molson Coors to focus on the efficiency of its resource usage and maximising the value extracted from its raw material supplies.

The firm’s 2010 Global CR report shows that the UK & Ireland business has decreased waste to landfill by around 27% in recent years. In the past 12 months, waste improvements have saved 1,348 tonnes of waste to landfill. And it now has its sights set on achieving zero production-waste to landfill.

It all makes economic sense. Molson Coors (UK & Ireland) has also saved more than £60,000 in landfill tax over two years by diverting waste from landfill. By-products from the brewing process are also put to beneficial uses, with spent grains going to farmers for animal feed and excess yeast going to the production of Marmite.

“As Britain’s biggest brewer we have to be aware of our environmental impact and we want to set out our achievements across the business and some of our next goals for the coming years,” says supply chain director, Lee Finney.

“Achieving our goal will have commercial and environmental benefits both now and in the future. Reaching zero production-waste to landfill across our breweries not only requires excellent inventory management but innovation and collaboration too.”

It’s not just waste that the company is getting to grips with. Between 2008 and 2010, it reduced carbon emissions by 5%, with 6,000 tonnes of carbon stripped out. Energy efficiency has improved by 11% in the past three years too, with the Molson Coors’ Alton Brewery in Hampshire ranked the number four brewery in the world for energy usage in the latest global independent survey, Benchmarking Energy Efficiency World-wide in the Beer Industry.

On water, the company has saved 650M litres of water since 2005-2009 and plans are in place to save 1B litres (almost 2B pints) by 2012 (from 2005 levels) in the UK, equivalent to about a 30% saving.

The company’s newly designed teardrop trailers helped to reduce ‘beer miles’ by 2.6M kilometres.

Part of this success has been through a partnership with Asda, transporting products to their stores via rail. Stock is

now collected by Asda vehicles and transferred from Molson Coors’ Burton Brewery a short distance to the Daventry rail terminal.

Roughly 20-25 rail containers of Asda stock – including Molson Coors products – are transported per night. The service currently runs from Daventry to Grangemouth in Scotland, almost 300 miles.

“We believe that good business practices embrace environmental stewardship. We know there is much work still to be done but we are working towards a more sustainable future for Molson Coors and will continue to report on our progress,” added Finney.

Molson Coors Brewing Company brews, markets and sells a portfolio of brands including Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Carling, Blue Moon, and Keystone Light across North America, Europe and Asia. It operates in Canada through Molson Coors Canada; in the U.S. through MillerCoors; and in the UK and Ireland through Molson Coors (UK & Ireland).

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