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Waste Not
New Global Brewers Survey Shows Industry Making Notable Reductions in Water, Energy Use

The Worldwide Brewery Industry Water and Energy Benchmarking Survey, which is carried out by Campden BRI and KWA on behalf of the Dutch Brewers Association every four years, reveals that breweries have reduced their energy usage by over 9% and water usage by over 17% over the last four years, according to Campden BRI.

The survey shows that between 2008 and 2012 average water use has been reduced dramatically by over 17% from 5.2 hectolitres (hl) of water per hl of beer to 4.3. Average energy use fell by over 9% in the same period from 229 Megajoules (MJ) per hl of beer to 207 MJ/hl. Even the top 10% most water- and energy-efficient breweries achieved a further 9% reduction in both energy and water usage between 2008 and 2012.

The Worldwide Brewery Industry Water and Energy Benchmarking Survey

Two hundred and twenty five breweries participated in the 2012 survey, which represented almost one-third of the world’s beer production. With 49 countries across all six continents covered in the study, this survey provides a strong indication of the actual water and energy use by breweries around the world.

Gordon Jackson, Head of Brewing Services at Campden BRI said: "In 2012 we collected data from breweries that produce 32% of the total world beer production volume. The study showed that even the most efficient breweries further improved energy use by 9.6% and water use by 9% over the four-year period. This clearly demonstrates that the brewing industry is taking sustained and effective action to improve its environmental performance."

Several major brewers have recently reported striking achievements in reducing the environmental impact of their operations. Last month, Molson Coors’ 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report revealed the company had achieved a 24 percent reduction in carbon emissions intensity since 2008 and accomplished zero waste to landfill in its UK-based operations by the end of 2012; and earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it had met its three-year global environmental goals on water (reducing use by nearly 20%), energy (12% reduction), carbon emissions (16% reduction) and recycling operations (increased to over 99% for solid waste and by-products).