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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Anheuser-Busch InBev Met Its Three-Year Environmental Goals

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced today that it has achieved its three-year environmental goals. The beer and soft drink company, which produces Budweiser, achieved the goals by involving its 130 breweries and soft drink facilities in over 20 countries. The goals achieved include using 3.5 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of production, which represents an 18.6 reduction in water use across its global operations against a 2009 baseline. This is equivalent to the amount of water needed to produce about 25 billion cans of AB InBev products, or about 20 percent of one year's production.

When it comes to energy use, AB InBev achieved a 12 percent reduction per hectoliter in facilities worldwide, beating its 10 percent reduction goal. It increased its recycling rate to 99.2 percent for solid waste and byproducts, beating its goal of 99 percent. In addition, it reduced carbon emissions by 15.7 percent, beating its goal of a 10 percent reduction.


AB InBev achieved its goals through a "multi-faceted approach" that included operational changes, technological solutions, and partnerships. Specifically, the company did two things that helped meet its goals:

  • By the end of 2012, 95 percent of AB InBev brewery and soft drink facilities were Voyager Plant Optimization (VPO) certified. VPO is a facility management system with rigorous standards.

  • Built a culture of sustainability by engaging its over 100,000 employees.

The company's many worldwide facilities helped contribute to meeting its goals. Here is an overview of their contributions:

North America

  • U.S. breweries reduced water use by 17.5 percent between 2009-2012.

  • In Canada, AB InBev reduced water use by 17 percent and total carbon emissions by 26 percent.

  • In UK, created a new bottle for the Beck's and Beck's Blue brands which is 11 percent lighter than previous versions. It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by almost 2,000 metric tons in 2013.

  • In Belgium, a new power plant in its Leuven brewery uses the heat from electricity production to create steam of the brewing process. This reduces fuel use by 10 percent. In addition, new bottle washers in the Jupille brewery use 15 percent less energy and 20 percent less water.
Latin America

  • In Brazil, the company developed the first 100 percent recycled PET bottle for the Guarana Antarctica soft drink, which uses 70 percent less energy to manufacture and reduces carbon emissions by 70 percent.

  • In Argentina, the company installed new technology in the Sur plant, the largest soft drinks plant in Latin America, that allows a portion of the treated effluent to be reused for internal cleaning and other non-product processes.
China, Russia & Ukraine

  • Breweries in China reduced water use by 38.4 percent and energy use by 30 percent from 2009 to 2012.

  • In Russia and Ukraine, the company invested over $50 million since 2010 to build Bio Treatment System facilities, which generates biogas fuel from byproducts of the plant's operations.

Expect more from AB InBev when it comes to environmental goals. AB InBev will announce a new set of environmental goals later this year, after reviewing the goals already met, and consulting with stakeholders.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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