NETHERLANDS – World’s second-largest beer company, Heineken has released its most ambitious sustainability strategy yet, announcing plans to become carbon neutral in its own production by 2030 and in its full value chain by 2040.
This marks the first in a series of refreshed Brew a Better World ambitions, aimed at “building the brightest possible future for the business, for the planet and for people around the world.”
It also comes on the heels of the company’s new EverGreen growth strategy which was launched in 2020 to help the company adopt to the unprecedented challenged posed by the covid-19 pandemic and help the company meet the demands of a fast-changing world.
To achieve net-zero in its own production, Heineken says it will maximise energy efficiency and power operations using renewable energy by 2030.
By 2030, the brewer also aims to cut emissions by 30% across its entire value chain – including barley farmers, packaging manufacturers and logistic providers – compared to a 2018 baseline.
Heineken CEO and chairman, Dolf van den Brink said: “We aim to be carbon neutral in our production sites by 2030 in order to meet the 1.5°C goal set by the Paris Agreement.”
van den Brink explained that Heineken will reduce its emissions through energy efficiency and speed up the transition towards renewable energy to achieve this goal.
He continued by saying that large part of the company’s overall carbon footprint beyond production comes from agriculture, packaging, distribution and cooling.
“This means we will work in close partnership with our suppliers and partners to reach our ambitious goal of a carbon neutral value chain by 2040,” he said.
Heineken says the 2040 commitment makes it the first global brewer to aim for carbon neutrality in its full value chain.
The Dutch brewing company says it has already started working towards achieving its goals including reducing carbon emissions per hectolitre in its breweries by 51% since 2008.
Since committing to the transition to renewable energy in 2018, Heineken says it has implemented over 130 renewable energy projects, including what it claims are five of the world’s ten largest on-site solar-powered breweries.
Last year, Heineken announced that all beer sold in the Dutch market is brewed using 100% green energy.
Meanwhile in December, it entered a partnership to build a wind farm in Finland, which will inject renewable electricity in the European grid supplying 13 of its operating companies.
As part of the shift, Heineken has become a member of the Business Ambition for 1.5C, the Race to Zero and RE100.
In 10 year sustainability plan culminating in 2030, British brewing company Diageo has also committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions across direct operations and working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%.
As the first step in its net zero ambition, Diageo said its prestigious Scottish distilleries of Oban and Royal Lochnagar will become carbon neutral by the end of 2020 and Diageo will aim to achieve net zero in India by 2025.
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