This sustainability report's for you

Giant brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev reduces water, energy per beverage produced.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Several weeks back, Anheuser-Busch InBev published some metrics detailing the steps it has taken to cut the among of water it takes to produce its beverages. Many of you read that information, maybe because you relate to one of the company's major beer brands, which include Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck's. This week, the giant brewing company is publishing more details about its overall corporate sustainability initiatives, including that aforementioned water usage reduction as well as a parallel reduction in the amount of energy used to produce its beverages.

Here are some of the highlights I picked out of the company's 2010 Global Citizenship Report:

  • In 2010, Anheuser-Busch InBev reduced the amount of water it takes per hectoliter of production by 6 percent compared with 2009. Since 2007, the cumulative reduction has been 19.7 percent. Right now, it takes an average of 4.04 hectoliters of water to create one hectoliter of production. The company's goal by the end of 2012 is to reach a target of 3.5 hectoliters per one hectoliter of production. For those of you who adore visual aids, the amount of water that Anheuser-Busch reduced in 2010 relative to 2007 was equivalent to 16,000 Olympic–size swimming pools.
  • In terms of energy usage along that same production philosophy, Anheuser-Busch InBev managed a 3.7 percent reduction during 2010 per hectoliter of beverage produced. Since 2007, the overall reduction has been 14 percent per hectoliter of beverage produced. The report also includes some statistics about the mix: 59 percent of Anheuser-Busch InBev's energy needs are served by gas, 31 percent is from coal, 3 percent is from fuel oil and 7 percent is from renewable biomass and biogas. The company also is making some serious investments in solar technology: In Newark, it is completing a rooftop installation that currently includes 7,000 panels covering 130,000 square feet. When finished, the array will supply more than 1.1 million kilowatt-hours annually, which is about 10 percent of the brewery's total electricity demand. In 2011, it will begin using wind technology at its brewery in Fairfield, Calif.
  • When it comes to recycling and waste management, it is the company's intention to reach a 99 percent recycling rate by the end of 2011. It is really close to this goal already (last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev recycled about 98.27 percent of its waste). The company is actively engaged in trying to figure out new and alternate uses for its organic waste. For example, in Brazil, it is using some materials that go into its filtration systems (kieselguhr) and selling it to local companies that make bricks. Like many other companies, it is focusing of the impact of its packaging. Some specifics: in 2010, the company took in 5.86 million metric tons of byproducts and organic waste, 333,917 metric tones of packaging, and 258,916 metric tons of other recycled materials.

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