Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable Releases First Common GHG Guidelines

The Coca-Cola Company, AB InBev, Diageo and other members of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) recently published a document that creates the industry’s first common framework for greenhouse gas emissions reporting.

Beverage Industry Sector Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting aims to ensure beverage company alignment and compliance with The Greenhouse Gas Protocol written by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Resources Institute. An update to a previous release from 2011, this enhanced document standardizes calculation steps, provides a directory of data requirements and creates specific rules for boundaries and scope settings.

BIER has also elaborated on the areas where it claims beverage‐specific guidance was needed most: recycling allocation, transportation logistics, maturation of distilled spirits and cooling models.

“BIER member companies believe uniformity in data collection, recording and communication is of particular importance to our industry,” said BIER director Tod Christenson. “As consumer‐facing organizations, a united approach to GHG reporting will provide our consumers, as well as other third‐party organizations, with a consistent, comparable and transparent source of important environmental information.”

BIER member Heineken — which hosted BIER's most recent semi-annual meeting in Amsterdam focusing on the Roundtable’s work to reduce resource consumption, mitigate impacts and ensure the long-term sustainability of the beverage sector — says the new guide harmonizes reporting within each beverage category, including beer, wine, spirits, carbonated soft drinks, juices and bottled water. The group also agreed on how to approach shared issues such as production and use of packaging materials.

“This is a unique tool for beverage companies seeking to report related emissions either at the enterprise or product level,” said Paul Bruijn, Environmental Specialistfor Heineken Global Supply. “They can use this guidance to better understand the requirements of existing protocols and drive improvement of their overall performance in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.”

In other beer news, Carlsberg recently joined with a group of global suppliers to develop the next generation of packaging products that are optimized for recycling and reuse, otherwise known as “upcycling.” The brewer and its suppliers will use the Cradle to Cradle Design Framework®, created by professor Michael Braungart and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, to develop a Cradle-to-Cradle® roadmap and assessment of their products.


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