Brewing sector cuts carbon and water use

Total CO2 emissions from the UK’s brewing industry fell 42% between 2008 and 2018 – a reduction of 202,952 tonnes – according to new research conducted by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). 

In 2018, emissions were 284,194 tonnes, compared to 487,146 tonnes in 2008. In 1998, they were 698,543 tonnes.

In the past 10 years, beer production, by volume, has fallen by 15%, according to HMRC figures, which will account for some of the emissions reductions.

However, the energy used to brew a pint of beer in the UK is now 20% less than it was in 2008, said the BBPA.

The water required to brew one hectolitre of beer has also fallen to an average of 3.5 hectolitres, against a target of 4hl by 2020.  Brewing industry targets to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency have also already been met.

The BBPA is now promising new and “highly ambitious” targets. The research, published in the report Brewing Green: A Greener Future for British Beer & Pubs, comes as the UK’s brewing and pub sectors begin setting their next sustainability targets to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Meanwhile, “all pubs” recently surveyed by the BBPA said they had trained staff on how to reduce food waste and energy consumption. Some 83% of pub operators now use insulated cellars to reduce energy consumption, whilst 71% have had smart meters installed. Separate data from the Environment Agency also showed that UK breweries now recover and re-use 98% of their waste.

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