Sweden: Carlsberg’s first carbon-neutral brewery in action

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24 Nov 2017 --- Carlsberg Sverige now runs Sweden's first big brewery with zero carbon emissions from its energy consumption. The brewery in Falkenberg is now 100 percent powered by biogas and green electricity.

Earlier this year, the Carlsberg Group launched a new sustainability program – Together Towards Zero. One of its four ambitions “Zero Carbon Footprint” is supported by a target to eliminate carbon emissions from all breweries and achieving a 30 percent reduction in the beer-in-hand carbon footprint by 2030. To achieve the ambitious targets, Carlsberg Group’s breweries will use 100 percent renewable electricity and eliminate coal as a source of energy by 2022.

As part of this journey, Carlsberg Sverige’s brewery in Falkenberg is now fueled 100 percent on biogas and green electricity, which reduces the brewery's carbon emissions from thermal energy and electricity to zero. The brewery has been using green electricity for many years, and 26 percent of the thermal energy comes from biogas generated from the brewery's own wastewater. The remaining 74 percent have so far been natural gas, which has now, in cooperation with energy supplier Ørsted AB, been converted to biogas with certificates ensuring that the biogas supplied to the grid has replaced an equivalent amount of natural gas.

“For many, many years we have been working to create a more efficient brewery with as little impact on our environment as possible. This is clear when looking at how much we have reduced our energy consumption over the years. It is motivating that we now take a big step forward and uses solely carbon-neutral energy sources,” says Ted Akiskalos, MD Carlsberg Sverige.

In Sweden, the well-functioning infrastructure and availability of biogas from the grid make it possible to convert to fully renewable sources by buying green energy, while other solutions will be deployed for markets where this is not an option. As part of its Together Towards ZERO program, Carlsberg Group has said it will rely on the best available options for developing and sourcing sustainable energy, including the establishment of solar panels and purchasing renewable energy where possible.

Through the Science-Based Targets initiative, Carlsberg Group has set an industry-leading 1.5-degree ambition compared to the Paris agreement’s base-level 2-degree goal. The Carbon Trust highlights Carlsberg among only three major companies having set and approved targets with this level of ambition.

“Our work with Carlsberg has explored the range of options they will need to adopt in the coming years to evolve to a zero carbon brewer. This will include the adoption of innovative energy efficiency technologies, own renewable electricity and heat, as well as sourcing of renewable energy, such as biogas. Seeing this first Carlsberg brewery make this transition so soon is very encouraging and should be seen as a demonstration of how industries can embrace new technologies to mitigate climate change,” says Tom Delay, Chief Executive, the Carbon Trust.

“Climate change is perhaps the most important issue for our society today, both for citizens, governments and companies all over the world, and we are very pleased with the positive development in Carlsberg Sverige. This underlines our willingness to contribute to tackling climate change at the same time as governments are focusing on scaling and speeding up impact at the COP23 in Bonn these weeks. Carlsberg Group will continue to chase our ambitions and targets, as we strive to brew for a better today and tomorrow,” says Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Sustainability Director, Carlsberg Group.

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