Why BrewDog is planting 1m trees

24 August 2020

BrewDog announced it has become carbon negative by offsetting its carbon emissions from its own operations and supply chain.

The brewery said from August 2020, it will be removing twice as much carbon from the air each year as it emits from its direct operations, energy purchases and supply chain. 

Initial carbon offsetting has been achieved through funding projects to protect woodlands and peatlands with global partners including the Woodland Trust, Carbon Neutral, Ribble Rivers Trust and Nature Conservancy of Canada, BrewDog said.

As part of its efforts to remain carbon negative in the future, BrewDog said it would plant 1m trees over 2,050 acres of land in the Scottish Highlands by 2022.

“As well as sequestering carbon, woodland creation also promotes biodiversity, natural flood attenuation and drives rural economic development,” it said. 

The firm announced it is working on a “fast-tracked” plan to reduce the amount of carbon it produces in its operations in the next two years. The plan includes the transition to wind-power energy for its brewery operations and bars and the development of a fully-electric delivery fleet, which will be on the road in 2020. 

It has invested in an anaerobic digester bio-plant to convert waste brewery water into pure H2O and reusable biomethane to reduce its waste water. The plant is set to be operational in 2021.

BrewDog also announced it aims to become a zero-waste business through upcycling food waste.

Its waste reduction initiatives included replacing 20% of its barley with surplus fresh bread to produce its ‘Mega beer’, and using any spent spelt from the brewing process to make dog biscuits. 

Meanwhile, Carlsberg UK announced it cut emissions from its Northampton brewery by 4.5% last year, compared to 2018. In total, it has reduced emissions by 17% since 2015.

In 2019, initiatives included fixing leaks of compressed air and reducing the amount of compressed air that needed to be generated helped save 393 tonnes of CO2 emissions. It also focused on improving steam efficiency for cleaning kegs to save 330 tonnes of CO2. 

It added it had also been able to reduce its waste water by 25% since 2015, in line with its aim to halve water use by 2030.

Tomasz Blawat, managing director at Carlsberg UK, said: “Operational efficiency supports sustainability by getting the most out of our brewery using only the minimum amount of energy and water. In the short term, this saves costs, while in the long term it will help to secure the availability of water and low-carbon energy sources that we need to be able to operate in the future.”

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