Jan de Grave / Director - Communications.
New report shows future is green for EU brewing sector
BRUSSELS, 23 May 2012: Europe’s brewers are getting greener and reducing the environmental impact of producing beer according to a new report released today. The launch of the report at Green Week 2012 highlights brewers’ reliance on high-quality ingredients including water and cereals, and their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
According to the first report of its kind by Dutch-based consultancy KWA Bedfrijfsadviseurs B.V and research organization Campden BRI, in just two years brewers reduced water use by an average of 4.5% per litre of beer. In 2010 compared to 2009 this was the equivalent of about 8 billion litres of water saved, or enough to run a further 32 average-sized(1) breweries for a year.
In the period 2008-2010, brewers also used 3.8% less energy to produce a litre of beer, resulting in a decrease in CO2 emissions of 7.1%, equal to the annual use of around 175 000 cars(2). Brewers also reduced wastewater from the brewing process by 6.9%.
One of the trends the report highlights is the consistent use of all of a brewery’s products. For example, in 2010, over 6 billion kilograms of brewers’ grain was used as secondary products, or enough to feed up to 2.4 million cattle(3) that year. Brewers’ grains are also used as an additional ingredient in bread, yeast extract, paper, bricks and fuel grade ethanol.
The Brewers of Europe, the voice for 3,500 brewers large and small across Europe, welcomed the result. Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said “Beer in Europe is getting greener as brewers focus on innovation to improve environmental performance while producing the same quality product that consumers deserve.”
The report concludes that the brewing sector in Europe is committed to continually improving its environmental impact, driving efficiency in energy, water and raw material use while reducing emissions and waste. Case studies show there is no step in the brewing process which has not shown an improvement in environmental performance.
“Launching the report during Green Week is a great way to show the progress we have made and highlight how we are striving to support, in particular throughout the economic crisis, the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth,” Bergeron added. “We realise there’s more to do, but this study shows we are on the right track and committed to an even greener future.”
He noted further progress is already being made and more is expected at every level. “Breweries regularly form partnerships with organisations at European, national and local levels to help reduce environmental impact, and to encourage consumers to do the same,” Bergeron said.
(1) On the basis of a brewery producing 500,000hl of beer/year
(2) On the basis of a diesel-powered sedan car using 135g/km and driving 10,000km a year
(3) On the basis that brewers’ grains can be fed to cows at 7-10kg/head/day
The full report is available here
Simon Spillane: firstname.lastname@example.org +32 2 551 18 10
About The Brewers of Europe
For more than a half century The Brewers of Europe has been the Brussels-based voice of the European brewing sector towards the European institutions and international organisations. Founded in 1958, it has 28 members, comprising 24 national brewer associations from the EU, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs B.V.
KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs B.V. is a business consultancy company specialised in energy, water, soil, environment, health, safety and quality. KWA has a lot of experience in the brewing sector. In 2000, 2004 and 2008 KWA carried out the World Wide energy benchmark for the brewing sector. They advise brewers on energy, water and cost reduction and they developed a software tool for brewing companies to save energy and water.
Campden BRI is the UK´s largest independent membership-based organisation carrying out research and development for the food and drinks industry worldwide. It is committed to providing industry with the research, technical and advisory services needed to ensure product safety and quality, process efficiency and product and process innovation.