Brewing giant Heineken has stated a new ambition to decarbonise its production by 2030 and its full value chain by 2040. The announcement marks the first in a series of refreshed Brew a Better World ambitious, which forms part of the company's new EverGreen growth strategy.
In order to decarbonise its production sites, the company says it will maximise energy efficiency and renewable energy use by 2030.
In close partnership with suppliers, also by 2030, Heineken aims to cut emissions by 30% across its entire value chain – including barley farmers, packaging manufacturers and logistic providers – from a 2018 baseline. Looking ahead to 2040, the company will be the first global brewer to aim for carbon neutrality in its full value chain.
Heineken CEO and chairman, Dolf van den Brink, comments, "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. We will further reduce our emissions through energy efficiency and speed up the transition towards renewable energy.
"A large part of our 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.”
Global efforts on the path to zero impact
Building on momentum from the last decade of Brew a Better World efforts, since 2008, Heineken has reduced carbon emissions per hectolitre in its breweries by 51%. Since committing to the transition to renewable energy in 2018, the company has implemented over 130 renewable energy projects, including 5 of the world’s 10 largest on-site solar-powered breweries.
The company says it's taking a science-based approach by working closely with the SBTi to validate its new commitment.
Heineken has partnered to build a wind farm in Finland that will inject renewable electricity in the European grid supplying 13 of its operating companies. In Indonesia, the company utilises sustainable biomass made out of agricultural waste to heat its two breweries. In Nigeria, the brewer has recently inaugurated solar panels in its Ibadan brewery, and in Vietnam, the company sources rice husks from local farmers to heat its brewing boilers.
In addition, Heineken is supporting a pilot of 500 low-carbon farming projects in eight countries, as well as shifting to zero-emission breweries in Spain and Austria. In Mexico, the company is using smart fridges that leverage software to automatically adjust cooling settings to minimise energy use, while in the Netherlands it's pioneering cleaner inland shipping methods for its beer and cider. In the UK, Heineken has launched an innovative cardboard multi-pack called Green Grip, reducing carbon and saving 500 tonnes of plastic every year.
To mark its commitments, the company is joining alliances to drive collective forward momentum. The brewer is becoming a member of the Business Ambition for 1.5C, the Race to Zero as well as RE100.