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Molson Coors Joins Science Based Targets Initiative, Sets 2025 Goals

Molson Coors
(Photo: Coors brewery sign in Golden, Colorado. Credit: jerdlngr, Flickr Creative Commons)

Molson Coors Brewing Company published its annual sustainability report and announced that they are joining the global Science Based Targets Initiative. The brewing company also set new targets as part of the 2025 goals outlined in “Our Beer Print Report 2018.”

Currently 430 companies are taking science-based climate action and 115 companies have approved science-based targets, according to the Science Based Targets Initiative. Having ambitious targets can increase innovation, reduce regulatory uncertainty, improve profitability, and strengthen investor confidence, the initiative’s partner organizations say.

“Science-based targets provide a path forward for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will meaningfully help keep the global temperature increase below 2°C, compared to pre-industrial temperatures,” Molson Coors says. The company developed a 2025 goal to lower absolute carbon emissions by 50% within their own operations and by 20% across their value chain. They have sent these goals to the Science Based Targets Initiative for official review.

For 2025, the brewer aims to achieve a 2.8 water-to-beer ratio, which means saving 2.1 billion gallons of water. Speaking to Environmental Leader last year, MillerCoors sustainability manager Marco Ugarte explained what the ratio means. “To put it in perspective, there are manufacturers that could easily be using five to nine gallons of water to produce one gallon beer,” he said. “The economies of scale and investments we have across the supply chain allow us to reduce that ratio and become more efficient over time.”

The agricultural supply chain makes up the biggest part of the company’s water footprint. “With the goal to improve the water-use efficiency of its agricultural supply chain and internal malting operations by 10%, Molson Coors is working closely with growers to reduce overall water use,” the company says. A new program will offer $2 million in incentives over the course of a year to growers who prioritize sustainability.

Over 70% of the Molson Coors barley supply comes from farmers in the Grower Direct program, an initiative that the company says has a portal so farmers can collect precise data about agricultural best-management practices at the field level. Through program, Molson Coors says it can identify more sustainability trends and opportunities.

In addition, 14 major brewing and manufacturing facilities achieved zero waste to landfill. Molson Coors wants to have all their facilities get to zero waste by 2025.

“We track all waste to landfill from all of our brewing and major manufacturing sites and, in 2017, we disposed of 2,253 metric tons to landfill, a 30% reduction from 2016,” the report says. Circular approaches included upcycling brewers’ dried yeast for dog and cat foods as well as turning wastewater into energy at their anaerobic digestion facilities.

The full Molson Coors report is available here.

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