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Anheuser-Busch InBev Cuts Water and CO2 Emissions by nearly 9%

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reduced water use by 8.5 percent, energy use by 7 percent and CO2 emissions by 8.5 percent in 2009, all per hectoliter of production, according to the company’s 2009 Global Citizenship Report.

In 2009, AB InBev emitted 4.55 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, of which 65.1 percent were direct emissions and 34.9 percent were indirect.

AB InBev has reduced its water use by nearly 32 percent since the end of 2004, saving nearly 23 billion liters of water. The company’s pure soft drink facilities have reduced water use by 23.7 percent since 2007, and over the past two years, water use has decreased nearly 27 percent at Anheuser-Busch’s 12 U.S. breweries.

The brewer has committed to new three-year goals as part of its Better World initiative to reduce per hectoliter of production its water use by 3.5 percent, energy use by 10 percent, and CO2 emissions by 10 percent by 2012.

The company also set a target to increase its waste and byproduct recycling rate to 99 percent.

The company’s global reuse/recycling rate for solid waste increased from 97.2 percent in 2007 to 98 percent in 2009. AB InBev’s U.S. breweries already recycle more than 99 percent of their solid waste from the brewing and packaging processes, in part due to package innovations that reduced the amount of solid waste generated by more than 141,000 metric tons since 2007.

In 2009, the company completed a global water risk assessment to help identify high-risk operations, which lead to the upgrade and/or construction of 12 bio-treatment systems in 2009. The company plans to construct or upgrade an additional 20 facilities by the end of 2012.

AB InBev also has a renewable energy strategy in place aimed at maximizing efficiency and minimizing the impact of it business on the environment. Globally, the brewer continues to evaluate biomass — from rice and coconut husks to wood chips — as a source of fuel for its breweries, which is expected to significantly reduce the company’s CO2 emissions.

As an example, biomass represented 30 percent of AB InBev’s total heating fuel use for its plants in Brazil in 2009.

In addition, 25 breweries around the world use Bio-Energy Recovery Systems (BERS), a method of capturing methane from water leftover from the brewing process to produce steam. As an example, in the Houston, Texas brewery, methane captured through the BERS process plus methane from a nearby landfill provides more than 70 percent of the brewery’s fuel needs.

In 2009, energy generated from renewable sources such as biomass and biogas accounted for 8 percent of the company’s fuel use.

AB InBev also reached its goal to reduce GHG emissions from five percent from 2005 through 2010 as a participant in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program.

As part of receiving advanced certification of its goal from the Climate Leaders program, the company’s U.S. operations have committed to further decrease total GHG emissions by 15 percent by the end of 2013, from 2008 as the baseline.

Here are the company’s new goals for 2012.

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