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SAB Miller Targets 25% Reduction in Water Used in Brewing

By 2015, SAB Miller, which markets more than 200 brands of beer and is the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, hopes to reduce by 25 percent the amount of water used to brew each hectoliter of beer.

Currently, the $25 billion company uses 4.6 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of beer produced. The goal is lower the input to 3.5 hectoliters.

The company also is targeting a 50 percent reduction in on-site fossil fuel emissions per hectoliter of beer produced by 2020. It has developed a carbon footprint tool that is being trialed in European operations.

In its 2009 Sustainable Development Report (download PDF), the global brewing company for the first time has published its Sustainability Assessment Matrix, which it has used internally for three years. Here is the matrix, which operates on progressive steps.


In April, SAB Miller subsidiary MillerCoors unveiled a new corporate identity and logo that promotes the brand as a responsible corporate citizen. “Great Beer, Great Responsibility” is displayed on packaging, point-of-sale materials and advertising.

On a global basis, the company has reevaluated its 10 sustainable development priorities, determining which ones are most material to business processes and brand perception.

The 10 priorities are:

  1. Discourage irresponsible drinking.
  2. Make more beer with less water.
  3. Reduce energy and carbon footprint.
  4. Promote packaging reuse and recycling.
  5. Work toward zero-waste operations.
  6. Encourage enterprise development in value chains.
  7. Benefit communities.
  8. Contribute to reducing HIV/Aids.
  9. Respect human rights.
  10. Be transparent and improve ethics.

The following graphic shows SAB Miller’s internal scorecard as measured by its Sustainability Assessment Matrix. It is calculated from an average of the number of reporting operations and does not factor the score by production volume.


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One thought on “SAB Miller Targets 25% Reduction in Water Used in Brewing

  1. The steps SAB Miller is taking to reduce its water usage today will pay off in the long run. By carefully managing such a valuable resource, SAB Miller is ensuring that water will be available for the company to use in the future. While there may be some costs up-front to reduce its water footprint, the brewing company will see long-term financial benefits if it is successful in reaching that 3.5 to 1 hectoliter goal.

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