Energy & Carbon
Energy & Carbon
We recognize the link between how much energy we use and how much carbon we emit into the atmosphere, and we are making significant strides in reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint.
We assess the carbon footprint of our entire value chain, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our breweries, as well as emissions from upstream activities such as growing barley and hops, malting and sugar processing, and downstream activities such as the manufacturing of our packaging, distribution to retailers, and recycling or disposal of empty bottles and cans at end of life.
By 2025, we aim to reduce absolute carbon emissions from our direct operations by 50%, and achieve an absolute carbon emissions reduction of 20% across our supply chain. As part of our plan to reduce carbon emissions and energy usage in our operations, we are committed to investing in renewable energy solutions and performance tracking technology to support greater accountability and visibility in our operations.
Cutting Down on Packaging Emissions
Packaging materials make up the largest part of our carbon footprint, so we're using our 2025 packaging goal of cutting packaging emissions by 26% to help meet our broader goal of reducing emissions by 20% in our value chain.
We're working with our top 10 packaging suppliers to obtain packaging-specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data and improve our carbon footprint by packaging type and by material. In 2019, we achieved a 1% weight reduction on the 12-ounce aluminum cans produced by Ball Corporation's Fort Atkinson plant. We aim to continue amplifying our lightweight packaging efforts and convert the rest of MillerCoors 12-ounce aluminum can volume in 2020. This translates to emission reductions through less packaging material used and less fuel consumed to transport the lighter product.
MillerCoors Supports Walmart's Project Gigaton
In November 2017, MillerCoors joined the inaugural year of Walmart’s Project Gigaton, an initiative to reduce emissions in the global value chain by 1 billion metric tons – a gigaton – by 2030.
Our commitment builds upon our joint Fertilizer Optimization Plan with them. In April 2018, Walmart recognized the organizations that meaningfully contributed to this ambitious goal. We are proud to support this global commitment through our work in Sustainable Agriculture. To learn more, please visit walmartsustainabilityhub.com.
In 2017, MillerCoors consumed 104 mega joules (MJ) of energy per hectoliter (hl) of beer brewed, a 2.6 percent reduction from 2016. Our breweries have made significant strides to increase energy efficiency in the past year.
We reduced GHG emissions by 31.7 percent since 2013—a 7.6 percent decrease from 2016. We will continue to look for ways to decrease our energy consumption to reduce our value chain carbon footprint per barrel of beer.
Terrapin's sustainability efforts, dubbed Terraprint, encompass the brewery's consideration for its effect on local watershed, energy use, soil quality and other resource construction. Terrapin is the first Georgia brewer to purchase renewable power directly at its facility. Through a partnership with Cherry Street Energy, a new solar array will be installed on the Terrapin rooftop, and solar-panel sunshades will be added in the brewery's parking lot.
Once installed, this array will offest about 30% of Terrapin's energy consumption with a renewable resource. Terrapin will offset up to 339 tons of CO2E, which will save 362 acres of U.S. forest in one year. The impact of this is equivalent to taking 65 passenger cars off the road every year.
From moving to renewable energy sources to finding methods to optimize energy use, our breweries have taken action and made energy reduction a priority.
Solar Array Installation in Irwindale
In 2015, the Irwindale Brewery went live with a 3.2 megawatt direct current solar photovoltaic array. Installed across more than 10 acres of brewery land, the 10,620 solar PV panels generate enough electricity to brew more than 7 million cases of beer annually. This is the largest solar PV array installed at any U.S. brewery.
Transition from Coal-fired to Natural Gas Boilers
Converting our breweries from coal-fired to natural gas boilers played a major role in the reduction of our carbon footprint in 2015. Our Albany, Trenton and Golden Breweries have all completed the conversion to natural gas boilers and are in the final stages of consuming residual coal inventories. We reduced our total emissions by approximately 91,333 MT CO2e by switching from coal to natural gas.