BELGIUM – Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest beer group in the world, has committed itself to secure 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources within eight years.

On Tuesday the group, which controls about one-third of the global beer market, said the commitment will shift 6 terawatt-hours of electricity annually to renewable sources in the markets where AB InBev is operating.

The move will make the beer group the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable energy in the global consumer goods sector.

It will have the same effect as removing 500,000 cars from the roads.

“Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we work,” said AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito.

“Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business and we are committed to helping drive positive change.”

AB InBev’s plan is to secure 75%-85% of electricity through direct power purchasing agreements.

The remaining 15%-25% will come mainly from onsite technologies such as solar panels. At this stage there appears to be no major renewable plans for SA.

Through Belgian beer brand Stella Artois the group is also driving a water-related conservation programme with Water. org, founded by US actor Matt Damon.

The partnership aims to help bring clean water to more than 3.5-million people in the developing world.

March 29, 2017; Business Day