UK brewers focus on pathway to net zero

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Brewers are moving towards net zero
Brewers are moving towards net zero

Related tags Drink Environment

UK brewers are taking "huge steps" to be more environmentally-friendly with an expanded, targeted roadmap being launched to help the sector decarbonise at pace to reach net zero

The Zero Carbon Forum and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) launched the roadmap at the beginning of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. It is designed specifically for the brewing sector and provides guidance to support brewers on a pathway to net zero emissions. 

The actions needed are detailed, from optimising hot liquor systems to the decarbonisation of ingredients and transportation fleets, as well as highlighting the support needed from Government to help the sector on its net zero journey. 

This latest roadmap is an evolution of the version first published in 2021, which reflects the action taken by the sector since COP26 and the unique challenges and opportunities to decarbonise held by the brewing sector directly and across supply chains. 

Critical moment

“We are in a critical moment when it comes to protecting our planet and we recognise how important it is for brewers to play their part and brew world class beer in a sustainable way. As an industry we are ambitious in our ability to affect change, demonstrated by brewing businesses across the country already taking huge steps to be more environmentally friendly. From improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2, to lowering water consumption, but this roadmap will further support brewers in reducing their environmental footprint​,” said ​Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.  

“This is not a mission we can embark on alone, collaboration is key, which is why we are delighted to launch this bespoke guidance alongside the Zero Carbon Forum and Carbon Architecture, to provide British brewers with a clear pathway to a net zero, green future.”​ 

Mark Chapman, chief executive of Zero Carbon Forum, said: “Through the Zero Carbon Forum, the brewing sector is collaborating to identify and implement all the actions it can take to cut carbon to net zero. Many of the initiatives detailed in this enhanced roadmap will also improve efficiency, grow sales and de-risk supply chains, helping Brewer’s survive the immediate crises as well as tackle the climate crises.”​ 

Brewing emissions

Industry specialists Carbon Architecture, as lead consultant, have provided a deep dive into brewing emissions within the roadmap and quantified the sector’s environmental impact. 

Will Todd, chief executive, said: “The brewing industry has been taking really positive steps to decarbonise since the UK Government first committed to its net zero 2050 targets, and during that time our friends at the BBPA have been spearheading the thought leadership which has been key to driving the agenda forward.  ​ 
This revised roadmap is the result of a strong collaboration between the sector’s largest and most influential trade association in the BBPA, the Zero Carbon Forum, which has ensured that the key stakeholders -the brewers themselves- are firmly invested in the recommendations put forward by the roadmap, and our consulting team at Carbon Architecture.”  ​ 



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