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MillerCoors Announces Zero Waste-to-Landfill Brewery and Campus

Bob Siegel headshotWords by RP Siegel
Energy & Environment
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MillerCoors brewing company announced today that both its corporate headquarters and its Milwaukee brewery are now landfill free. This is the seventh of the company’s eight major breweries to achieve this status and the first complete campus (brewery plus offices) to get there.

“We’re proud to achieve landfill-free status in the place we’ve called home for more than 160 years," Fernando Palacios, Executive Vice President and Chief Integrated Supply Chain Officer, said in a press release. "MillerCoors remains committed to protecting local resources, lessening our impact on the environment and being a good neighbor by continuing to look for ways we can brew beer more sustainably, including eliminating waste sent to landfills.” Palacios affirmed the fact that the company “remains committed to protecting local resources, lessening our impact on the environment and being a good neighbor by continuing to look for ways we can brew beer more sustainably, including eliminating waste sent to landfills.”

“As we look ahead to 2020, we are focused on building upon our heritage to brew a sustainable future,” said Kim Marotta, MillerCoors Director of Sustainability. “We’ve updated our sustainability strategy to reflect our past successes and to challenge ourselves in new ways.”

When I spoke with Marotta last week as part of our ROI of Sustainability series, she told me that they plan to get the whole company to landfill free status by 2020. That includes their Fort Worth brewery and their metal and glass manufacturing facilities such as Rocky Mountain Metal Container, LLC, a metal beverage container and end manufacturing facility in Golden, Colorado jointly owned by MillerCoors and Ball. She also mentioned that the zero waste effort has been a major focal point for employee engagement. As the result of this effort, the company has eliminated 65 tons of waste that was being sent to the landfill each month, saving money while reducing the company’s environmental impact.

Most of our conversation focused on their various water reduction efforts. Since 2008 the company has reduced water consumption within their brewery operations by 1.4 billion gallons and has identified opportunities to conserve far more than that in the agricultural supply chain.

The residual waste, about 15 tons per month that cannot be reused or recycled, is sent to a waste-to-energy facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a practice that is followed company-wide. Overall, the company reduced landfill waste by 448 tons last year.

The announcement coincides with the release of MillerCoors' 2015 Sustainability Report entitled, Great Beer, Great Responsibility which highlights their “continuing quest to brew a sustainable future.” Many of the watershed projects that Marotta and I discussed are described in more detail in there. They also talk about the solar installation at the Irwindale brewery that we wrote about in January.

Image credit: MillerCoors

RP Siegel headshotRP Siegel

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. His work has appeared in Triple Pundit, GreenBiz, Justmeans, CSRWire, Sustainable Brands, Grist, Strategy+Business, Mechanical Engineering,  Design News, PolicyInnovations, Social Earth, Environmental Science, 3BL Media, ThomasNet, Huffington Post, Eniday, and engineering.com among others . He is the co-author, with Roger Saillant, of Vapor Trails, an adventure novel that shows climate change from a human perspective. RP is a professional engineer - a prolific inventor with 53 patents and President of Rain Mountain LLC a an independent product development group. RP was the winner of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week blogging competition. Contact: bobolink52@gmail.com

 

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