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In response to the challenges of greenhouse gas and climate change, HEINEKEN UK has set targets to reduce its carbon footprint – net zero emissions in production (Scopes 1 and 2) by 2030 and net zero emissions across our entire value chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 2040, with an intermediate goal of a 30% reduction by 2030 versus our 2018 baseline.

They’ve been working on energy efficiency in their breweries and cider-making for the past 11 years, reaching an efficiency rating of 3.10 kgCO2e/hl by the end of 2020.  With the focus now turning to the absolute reduction of emissions, by the end of 2021 Heineken achieved a 17% reduction of emissions from our production sites versus our 2018 baseline. They acknowledged that this reduction was partly influenced by the effects on our production from Covid-19 and so, looking towards achieving net zero, they know that a more concerted effort is required to progress our journey as we also focus on our plans for growth.

Heineken’s journey to net zero carbon emissions will be facilitated by a transition to renewable energy. 100% of the electricity they use now comes from renewable sources and a small amount of the thermal energy they use comes from renewable sources, such biogas (a by-product from our water treatment facilities). In 2021, of the total electric and thermal energy consumed across Heineken’s five production sites, 30% was from renewable sources.

The biggest challenge facing Heineken is reducing their use of natural gas for thermal energy and replacing it with a reliable, sustainable and renewable source. During the past 12 months, they have assessed all of our major UK sites to identify opportunities where energy consumption can be reduced and mapped out our journey to net zero for each site.

When it comes to water, through the Brew a Better World campaign Heineken are committed to improving their water efficiency in the production of our ciders and beers and are aiming to reduce the ratio of hectolitres of water used per hectolitre of the cider and beer we produce to 2.7hl/hl by 2025.

During the pandemic, the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as changing shopping habits, made the packaging mix within production more complex. In 2021, due to this added complexity, water usage rose to an average of 3.26 hl/hl (from a previous low of 3.19 in 2019).

In response, Heineken now have a water task force in place along with roadmaps developed for each of their UK sites and a feedback loop for sharing and implementing best practices with other Heineken breweries.