Anheuser-Busch InBev announced new five-year goals for its “Environmental Commitment,” including reducing packaging materials by 100,000 tons, or the equivalent of about 250 million full cans of beer.
The new commitments [PDF] build on the three-year global environmental achievements reached at the end of 2012 from a 2009 baseline, the company says. Other goals include:
- Reduce water risks and improve water management in 100% of its key barley growing regions in partnership with local stakeholders.
- Engage in watershed protection measures at 100% of its facilities located in key areas in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Peru and the US, in partnership with local stakeholders.
- Reduce global water usage to 3.2 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of production.
- Reduce global GHG emissions per hectoliter of production by 10%, including a 15 percent reduction per hectoliter in China.
- Reduce global energy usage per hectoliter of production by 10%.
- Reach a 70% global average of eco-friendly cooler purchases annually.
In a report announcing the new goals, the company says it increased its recycling rate from 98.2% to 99.2% for solid waste and byproducts in the last three years, meeting its goal of achieving a 99% recycle rate of solid waste by the end of 2012. AB InBev says that 135 of its 137 plants worldwide have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status (defined by the Zero Waste International Alliance as diverting at least 90 percent of all solid waste from landfills). Efforts in pursuit of this goal cut the amount of waste the company sent to landfills by nearly 55% from 2011 to 2012, even though overall materials use increased slightly.
The company also increased the amount of materials recycled and composted
by 2.8%, from 5,937,251 to 6,102,819 metric tons.
In 2012, the company’s Brazil operations developed the first 100% recycled PET bottle for its Guaraná Antarctica soft drink. To date, AB InBev says it has introduced about 50 million of these two-liter bottles to the Brazilian market. By the end of 2013, the company expects that number to nearly double to about 94 million recycled PET bottles across the country. At the current production scale, these bottles use 2,100 fewer tons of packaging materials, save 9.2 cubic meters of landfill for every ton of PET bottles recycled, emit 70% less carbon by using 70% less energy, and use 20% less water than manufacturing new plastic bottles, the company says.