Find a news story

Refine your search here

Back to news page

Britain’s brewers make commitment to a greener future


Tough new targets for carbon emissions and water use were launched on Monday by the British brewing industry. The targets, in Brewing green/Our commitment to a sustainable future for Britain’s beer a new report launched by the British Beer & Pub Association, call for a 17.5 per cent reduction in overall CO2 emissions, and an 11 per cent increase in water efficiency between now and 2020.

Britain’s brewing industry already has an impressive record in reducing emissions and water use. These new commitments go well beyond any Government requirement or target. On carbon emissions alone, this means that the industry is committing to almost double the Government’s 2020 carbon reduction target; 67 per cent lower than 1990 compared with the UK target of 34 per cent.

Alongside these commitments the industry will be improving data collection to allow for better monitoring and performance management.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, said, “Brewing is a major UK industry, and we recognise we have a key part to play in shaping the country’s environmental record.

“Brewers have been tackling their carbon and water usage for 30 years, and we have a record we can be proud of. But there is a lot more work to do.

“We recognise that we can do more to influence energy and water use in our supply chain – and we are also committed to reduce packaging waste, encouraging recycling and reducing the weight of our bottles and cans.

“We are also committed to reporting the progress we are making. This is very important. We are a responsible industry, and want our targets and progress to be transparent and to be accountable, through regular, future reporting.

“The brewing industry is being bold, open and progressive about its environmental commitments. When it comes to an industry that is dedicated to improving our environmental performance, we want to ensure that it’s a case of ‘beer is best.’”

Jim Paice MP, Minister for Agriculture & Food, has provided a forward for the document. In addition to being “impressed by the steps already taken” by the industry, he writes: “The brewing industry needs to be part of a vibrant and competitive food and drink industry and must continue to grow sustainably, producing more with less. By taking advantage of the savings from using less energy, water, and minimising waste, the sector can become even more competitive, saving money and contributing to its economic performance while reducing its impact on the environment.”

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain’s 52,000 pubs.

An electronic version of the report can be found from the link below.

Please also find below a photo from the launch event. The photo is of Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, and Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Foods at the report’s launch event in the Westminster Arms.

Our ten commitments

1) Carbon emissions: To reduce carbon emissions by 67 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990.

2) Water efficiency: To achieve an industry average of less than four litres of water for each litre of beer produced, a reduction of 42 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990.

3) Renewable energy: To increase the use of renewable energy within the sector.

4) Waste reduction: To continue to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill year on year and increase the amount reused.

5) Packaging waste and recycling: To play our part in the reduction of packaging waste from our products.

6) Packaging reduction and ‘lightweighting’ of containers: To minimise the use of packaging without compromising the safety and quality of our products – through lightweighting and working with the wider supply chain.

7) Use of raw agricultural materials: To continue to improve the efficient use of raw materials.

8) Environmental management systems: To ensure appropriate environmental management systems are in place, covering carbon, energy, water, effluent, waste minimization and packaging to reduce the environmental impact of brewing and in support of brewers’ environmental policies and operating permits.

9) Sustainable production: To develop plans to ensure the sustainable future of brewing in the UK, by monitoring and managing potential supply-side risks.

10) Accountability and transparency: To produce an annual report that sets out progress against agreed plans and targets, and to enhance the quality and quantity of data available to monitor progress against all targets.

The UK Brewing Industry

• The brewers covered by this commitment brew most of beer produced in the UK - and 90 per cent of the beer consumed in Britain is brewed here in Britain.

• Beer is made from natural ingredients, hops and barley, and supports 20,000 jobs in agriculture, buying 35 per cent of the UK’s malted barley crop.

• In beer duty alone, the sector contributes £3.2 billion a year to the Treasury

• The beer and pub industry employs 600,000 people directly.


» Launch Event Image
» Brewing green/Our commitment to a sustainable future for Britain’s beer


For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Just loading our latest tweet...