UK brewers launch net zero emissions roadmap, Innis & Gunn receives approval for Edinburgh brewery

UK –  The UK brewing industry has launched a roadmap to net-zero carbon emissions to help industry players in their journey towards a carbon-positive future. 

The roadmap launched ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) was led by the British Beer & Pub Association and the Zero Carbon Forum.   

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said the launch of this brewing specific roadmap provided British producers a clear pathway to net zero.  

“Brewing is distinct from the wider hospitality sector and is a key part of food and drink manufacturing across the UK, so requires a bespoke roadmap for reaching net-zero,” said McClarkin. 

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 “Using this roadmap, brewers can continue their great work to date in reducing their environmental footprint and support the roadmap for the wider hospitality sector in reaching net zero.” 

The roadmap is broken up into three ‘scopes’ for reporting purposes, in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Account and Reporting Standard.  

Scope 1 included all direct emissions from the reporting company – such as combustion for heating or cooking on-site and emissions from fuel used in company-owned vehicles. 

Scope 2 is, on the other hand, focused on indirect emissions from purchased electricity to steam and heating that a company uses across its facilities.  

The third scope represented all other indirect emissions that were a result of activities that occur in the value chain such as emissions associated with agricultural activities to produce ingredients and emissions from the disposal of packaging waste.  

Net-zero targets Scopes 1 and 2 outlined ambitions for brewers to reach net-zero by 2030, while scope 3 described ambitions with a 2040 target.  

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Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee applauded the move to decarbonize brewing operations across the UK.  

“I am delighted to see the publication of the Brewing Sector Roadmap. It will help businesses decarbonise and set strategies which support our commitment that Scotland will reach net zero by 2045,” McKee said.  

Innis & Gunn greenlighted to build Edinburgh brewery 

Meanwhile, Scottish-based brewer Innis & Gunn has secured planning permission to build a brewery at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park. 

The approvals from the City of Edinburgh Council allow the company to move ahead with construction plans of what will be the first major brewery in Edinburgh for more than 150 years.  

Spanning a two-hectare site, the new facility will provide increased brewing capacity which will ultimately support the brewer’s continued growth in the UK and overseas.  

The brewer’s core range, comprising of Innis & Gunn’s The Original, Lager Beer and Session IPA, as well as other unique, cask-matured beers will be brewed at the new site.  

The new facility, whose construction date is yet to be announced, is also set to offer guided tours to interested members of the public.  

Plans are also being drawn up to ensure students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Heriot-Watt University’s School of Brewing and Distilling spend time on placement in the brewery. 

Further collaboration between Innis & Gunn and Heriot-Watt University is envisaged in fields such as low carbon brewing technologies, product and packaging innovation, and new product development. 

Plans for the brewery were submitted in May 2020, following a successful crowdfunding campaign, which raised £3.3m from more than 2,000 investors. The total budget for the brewery is £20m.  

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