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Falkenberg Becomes Carlsberg's First Carbon-Neutral Brewery

Falkenberg, Sweden is Carlsberg Group's first brewery to achieve carbon neutrality. | Image credit: Carlsberg

Carlsberg Group is now one step closer to achieving its Together Towards Zero goals — the company’s brewery in Falkenberg, Sweden is now 100 percent powered by biogas and clean electricity, thereby reducing its CO2 emissions to zero.

The Falkenberg brewery has been using renewable energy for years, with 26 percent of its thermal energy coming from biogas generated by the brewery’s own wastewater. The remaining 74 percent has been natural gas, which is now been converted to biogas by Ørsted with certificates ensuring that the biogas supplied to the grid has replaced and equivalent amount of natural gas.

“For many, many years we have been working to create a more efficient brewery with as little impact on our environment as possible. This is clear when looking at how much we have reduced our energy consumption over the years. It is motivating that we now take a big step forward and use solely carbon-neutral energy sources,” said Ted Akiskalos, Managing Director of Carlsberg Sverige.

Earlier this year, Carlsberg launched its Together Towards Zero sustainability program, in which it pledged to eliminate carbon emissions and halve water usage at its breweries worldwide by 2030. One of its four ambitions — Zero Carbon Footprint — is supported by a target to eliminate carbon emissions from all of its breweries and achieving a 30 percent reduction in the beer-in-hand carbon footprint by 2030. To achieve this goal, Carlsberg is actively working to eliminate the use of coal as a source of energy by transitioning its breweries to 100 percent renewable energy by 2022.

The well-functioning infrastructure and availability of biogas from the grid in Sweden was an important driver in converting the Falkenberg brewery to renewable sources. Carlsberg has said that other solutions, such as installing solar panels and purchasing renewable energy, will be deployed in markets where this is not an option.

“Climate change is perhaps the most important issue for our society today, both for citizens, governments and companies all over the world and we are very pleased with the positive development in Carlsberg Sverige. This underlines our willingness to contribute to tackling climate change at the same time as governments are focusing on scaling and speeding up impact at the COP23 in Bonn these weeks. Carlsberg Group will continue to chase our ambitions and targets, as we strive to brew for a better today and tomorrow,” said Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Sustainability Director at Carlsberg Group.

Through the Science-Based Targets Initiative, Carlsberg has set an industry-leading 1.5 degree Celsius ambition compared to the Paris Agreement’s base-level 2 degree Celsius goal. The Carbon Trust has identified the Danish brewer as one of only three major companies having set and approved targets with this level of ambition.

“Our work with Carlsberg has explored the range of options they will need to adopt in the coming years to evolve to a zero-carbon brewer. This will include the adoption of innovative energy efficiency technologies, own renewable electricity and heat, as well as sourcing of renewable energy, such as biogas. Seeing this first Carlsberg brewery make this transition so soon is very encouraging and should be seen as a demonstration of how industries can embrace new technologies to mitigate climate change,” said Tom Delay, CEO of the Carbon Trust.


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