‘Towards Net-Zero and Beyond’: Carlsberg makes progress on net-zero 2040 goal

Danish brewer Carlsberg has brought the curtain down on its long-standing “together towards zero” climate strategy, with the company’s latest ESG report revealing that key carbon targets were exceeded that will accelerate the push to a net-zero value chain by 2040.

‘Towards Net-Zero and Beyond’: Carlsberg makes progress on net-zero 2040 goal

Launched in August 2022, the updated strategy is headlined by a roadmap to deliver a net-zero value chain by 2040 Picture of a glass showing the logo of Carlsberg, on a Serbian bar. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Carlesberg is a group producing beers, mainly a pale lager pilsner, spread worldwide

Carlsberg has been one of the corporate leaders on climate action, becoming one of the first companies globally to introduce science-based climate targets aligned with the 1.5C target in the Paris Agreement. Reaching those targets was enshrined in the brewer’s “together towards zero” (TTZ) sustainability plan, which launched in 2017.

The company’s latest ESG report, published this week, reveals that the brewer has exceeded key targets on carbon and water. As a result, the together towards zero strategy has evolved to focus on a net-zero trajectory.

Carlsberg’s chief executive Cees ’t Hart said: “With the launch of TTZ in 2017, we set a new benchmark within our industry for sustainability. I’m proud of the example we’ve set with Together Towards ZERO and the significant progress we’ve made since 2017, together with our colleagues and value chain partners.

“In 2022 we took the next step on our journey by launching our enhanced ESG programme, TTZAB. We will build on the momentum from our efforts over the past five years to achieve the new expanded and even more ambitious targets we’ve set towards 2030 and 2040.”

The ESG report reveals that Carlsberg has delivered a 57% reduction in relative carbon emissions and a 31% reduction in relative water use since 2015, exceeding the TTZ targets. The company also earned a double “A” rating from global environmental non-profit CDP for transparency and action on these topics.

Carlsberg cites the switch from coal to renewables, extracting biogas from onsite wastewater treatment facilities and introducing thermal energy to produce lower-carbon beer at 18 breweries as key actions to exceeding its climate goals.

The company will now forge ahead with its flagship “Towards Net-Zero and Beyond” (TTZAB) strategy.

Launched in August 2022, TTZAB is headlined by a roadmap to deliver a net-zero value chain by 2040. This will see the brewer accelerate efforts to operate zero-carbon breweries and decarbonise across its packaging and farming practices. Carlsberg notes that agriculture and the processing of raw materials, as well as the production and disposal of packaging account for around two-thirds of its value chain emissions.

Under the new ESG strategy, Carlsberg will aim to deliver a 30% reduction in beer-in-hand carbon emissions and zero carbon at all breweries. This will set the company up to deliver a zero-carbon value chain by 2040.

The company will also ensure that 30% of raw materials are sourced using regenerative agricultural practices by 2030, so that, by 2040 100% of all raw materials are sourced this way.

Carlsberg will also ramp up efforts focused on the circular economy. By 2030, 100% of packaging will be recyclable, reusable or renewable and a 90% collection rate will be achieved for bottles and cans. Carlsberg will also deliver a 50% reduction in fossil-based plastics and ensure that recycled content accounts for 50% of bottles and cans.

To this end, Carlsberg recently announced plans to trial the performance of 8,000 fibre-based beer bottles, in a move that could help the company reduce carbon emissions and improve recyclability. edie spoke to Carlsberg’s group sustainability director Simon Boas Hoffmeyer about the new initiative, which you can read here.

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