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Heineken Sustainability Report: Normalized Energy Use Drops 4.3%

Brewer Heineken improved its normalized energy use by 4.3 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s 2011 sustainability report.

The company’s combined thermal and electrical energy consumption improved from 166 MJ per hectoliter of product in 2010 to 159 MJ/hl in 2011, the report says. Thermal energy consumption improved by 5.8 per cent from 87.6 MJ/hl to 82.5 MJ/hl and electricity consumption by 2.3 per cent from 8.7 kWh/hl to 8.5 kWh/hl, the report says.

These figures put the company on track to meet its 2020 targets, the report says.

The company’s thermal energy consumption declined due to improvements at one of its cider plants in Ledbury, UK, Heineken says. Running at full capacity, the plant finished the season four weeks ahead of schedule, “drastically” reducing energy consumption, the report says. The company’s Monterrey, Mexico, facility made thermal energy savings through the more efficient use of steam in the packaging lines, the report says.

Plant optimizations focusing on ammonia condensers at four of Heineken’s Russian production units – Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Ekaterinburg and Sterlitamak – led to significant electricity consumption savings, the report says.

The brewer’s performance in greenhouse gas emissions improved 5.3 percent from 9.3 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per hl of product in 2010 to 8.8 kg CO2e/hl in 2011. This improvement is primarily the result of the energy saving activities at breweries, what Heineken describes as “the exceptional milling season” at its Ledbury, UK facility and the purchase of more renewable electricity and “imported heat” compared with 2010. The emissions improvement puts Heineken on track to meet its 2020 target of a 40 per cent reduction in normalized CO2 emissions over 2010 levels, the report says.

Starting in 2012, all of Heineken’s breweries will be required to report on their use of renewable energy on a monthly basis. The company plans to establish a renewable energy plan for each brewery.

In 2011, Heineken applied successfully for a grant of €2.6 million ($3.4 million) from the EU to help fund three promising feasibility studies using solar thermal energy. With Heineken’s acquisition of the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma breweries in Mexico, the company became a customer of the 396 MW Mareña Renovables Wind Farm Project, currently under construction in the Oaxaca area. Wind energy is expected to be added to the energy mix in the Netherlands too, where Heineken has signed a long-term supply agreement covering about 8 percent of the brewery’s energy requirements.

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