Our environmental sustainability strategy strives to reduce environmental impacts at every stage of the brewing process and focuses on three main areas:
Reducing water use in our manufacturing facilities and agricultural supply chain
Reducing our carbon footprint across our value chain
Eliminating waste at all major manufacturing facilities.
The key to our success has been how well our employees share best practices and work together as a team - not just in their breweries and operations but also across the organization. This approach has led to huge gains in water and energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
Reducing Our Water Usage
We have worked extensively to increase water efficiency in our brewery operations by employing innovative monitoring and processing systems. In 2014, we achieved an average water-to-beer ratio of 3.36:1.0 across our eight major breweries, a 3.2 percent reduction compared with 2013. For comparison, some U.S. breweries use more than six barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer. By 2020, we'll continue working to reduce our water-to-beer-ratio across all our direct operations to achieve an average ratio of 3.0:1.0.
Learn more about MillerCoors water stewardship efforts.
In 2014, MillerCoors consumed 121 megajoules (MJ) of energy per hectoliter (hl) of beer brewed, a 1.7 percent reduction from 2013. For comparison, some U.S. breweries use as much as 234 MJ/hl. Since 2008, MillerCoors has reduced its energy consumption by 800,635,248 kilowatt hours, enough to meet the needs of nearly 74,000 average American households for an entire year.
Learn more about MillerCoors energy usage.
Reduce Packaging by 2 Percent by Weight
Our 2015 goal was to reduce overall annual weight of all our packaging in the supply chain by 2 percent from the 2008 base year. Our calculation method considers the average weight of all packaging materials per barrel of beer. Through a combination of light-weighting initiatives and changes in product mix, we surpassed our goal two years early and reduced packaging weight by 8.74 percent.
Learn more about MillerCoors packaging reduction efforts.
We reuse or recycle nearly 100 percent of our brewery waste, including protein-rich residual brewer's grain and spent yeast, glass cullet, aluminum, plastic, wood and other materials. We turn waste into energy, compost and soil conditioner for our own use, and we send the remaining byproducts to companies that use them for other beneficial purposes.
In 2014, we sent 2.95 million pounds of waste to landfill and reduced waste sent to landfill by more than 896,000 pounds. Seven of our eight major breweries are now landfill-free, with the Milwaukee brewery achieving this status in December 2014.
Learn more about MillerCoors waste reduction efforts.
Both NRCS and MillerCoors share a mutual goal of improving water quality and increasing water efficiency. Together we’re helping farmers and ranchers in the Trinity River watershed in Texas and the San Luis Valley watershed in Colorado implement conservation practices to use water more efficiently and reduce the sediment and nutrients leaving their farms -- improving water quality downstream. By pooling our resources and efforts, we can amplify our conservation impact, resulting in more conservation on the ground in the places that need it the most. These watersheds are a vital resource for agriculture, for businesses and for millions of people living in nearby communities. We want to ensure they are healthy and vital into the future, and through public-private collaboration – like our partnership with MillerCoors – we are confident that goal can be realized.