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MillerCoors Reports 100 Million Gallon Reduction in Water Consumption

It's time to crack open a couple and celebrate: not only did MillerCoors recently release its fourth annual sustainability report, but the beer brewer giant reported its progress and future goals using the Global Reporting Initiative framework (if you are interested in learning more about the GRI, consider one of our training courses in the GRI's methodology.) "Great Things on Tap" features highlights from 2011 as well as updates on the brewer’s progress towards long-term goals through 2015. In all, the report focuses on five crucial areas: responsibility, environmental stewardship, supply chain, people and communities, and ethics and transparency. (MNN) See below for the company's success in each:


  • $230,000  in grants through the Great Plays Grant Program to encourage preventing underage access and reduce harm-related behavior at eligible college campuses

  • 794,754 phone calls to 1-800-TAXICAB drunk driving prevention program

  • 556,675 free rides provided through the Miller Lite Free Rides™ program

  • 4.6 million people participated in a MillerCoors safe ride home program, 2009 through
    year-end 2011

  • 5,356 Gold Cup soccer fans pledged to drink responsibly or received taxicab vouchers

MillerCoors aims to affect 10 million people (up from the original 6 million goal) with its responsible drinking and drunk driving prevention programs by 2015.

Environmental Stewardship

  • 100 million-gallons-per-year reduction in water consumption through use of a new cooling system using recirculated water at the Milwaukee Brewery

  • Five out of MillerCoors' eight breweries achieved water-to-beer ratios less than 4.00:1

  • 4.3 percent reduction since 2008 in overall energy consumption per barrel of beer across  eight major breweries

  • 100 percent landfill-free for waste from Trenton, Irwindale, Eden and Shenandoah Breweries

  • 17.2 million-pound reduction in the weight of packaging materials

By 2015, the company expects to reduce packaging by 2 percent (68 million pounds), reduce waste to landfill by 50 percent, and reduce energy use by 15 percent with the use of hybrid security cars, cool roof coating, renewable energy from wastewater, efficient refrigeration compressors, and heating and cooling improvements.

Supply Chain

  • 10,000-plus businesses providing barley, hops, malt, water, transportation, containers, packaging, advertising and marketing, wholesaler services, retail outlets, and other services comprise the supply chain

  • 80 percent of overall procurement each year comes from top 100 suppliers

  • 124.5 million gallons of water saved while increasing barley yields in the first year of  Showcase Barley Farm

  • 800 barley growers in the Grower Direct program provide 75 percent of barley

  • $1.27 billion spent with minority- and women-owned businesses since 2009

By 2015, MillerCoors aims to spend $2.5 billion with diverse suppliers.

People and Communities

  • 53,000-plus hours of volunteering donated by employees and their families

  • 23 percent drop in workers compensation claims between July 2008 and July 2011

  • $12.7 million in employee and corporate donations to nonprofits

  • 380,000-plus hours of classroom and online training in business and leadership provided to employees through MillerCoors University

  • $550,000-plus investment in tuition reimbursement to 177 employees
Ethics and Transparency

  • 2008 is the year MillerCoors was formed as a joint venture of SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co.

  • Four times each year, the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee meets to oversee responsibility efforts across all functions, including sustainability

  • 36 employees from all aspects of  business comprise the Sustainability Leadership Council, setting goals and guiding the MillerCoors sustainable development strategy

  • 3.92 overall SAM score for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, a 6.5 percent improvement from the past fiscal year

  • $0 in fines for instances of noncompliance from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012

In addition to the company's internal efforts, MillerCoors has also aligned itself with several outside initiatives through its parent companies SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co.:

  • U.N. Global Compact: The U.N. Global Compact offers a policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of 10 universal sustainability principles and practices.

  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes: The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes track the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. To be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, companies are appraised based on economic, environmental, and social corporate sustainability criteria and then ranked within their industry.

  • Carbon Disclosure Project: The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) uses transparency and disclosure to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase sustainable water use. Companies that disclose to CDP demonstrate increased awareness of greenhouse gas emissions, business leadership in understanding the risks of climate change and water scarcity, innovations to generate revenue from sustainable products and services, and risk management of potential climate change and water impacts.
“We are taking steps across the company to ensure that we are sustainably building a stronger future for MillerCoors and the communities we serve,” said MillerCoors Chief Executive Officer Tom Long.  “Great Things on Tap provides insight into our strategy for environmental stewardship and also reinforces our deep commitment to ensuring our beers are consumed responsibly.”
Cheers to that!
Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.
Samantha Neary

Samantha is a graduate of Boston University with concentrations in English, Biology and Environmental Policy. After working in higher education textbook publishing for some time, she turned to the freelance writing world and now reports on corporate social responsibility, green technology and policy, and conservation for TriplePundit.

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