Carlsberg Group: Together Towards Zero

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The Carlsberg Group is firmly committed to eliminating carbon dioxide emissions and halving water use in its breweries by 2030, under the auspices of its new programme for achieving sustainability, entitled “Together Towards ZERO”. On route to full implementation of this objective, the company will, among other things, use electricity produced exclusively from renewable sources in all of its breweries no later than 2022.

“Together Towards ZERO” represents a response to the ever-increasing demand of customers for sustainable products at a time when the whole world is confronting challenges like climate change, water shortages and public health problems. This programme is an integral part of the SAIL’22 strategy of the Carlsberg Group and includes four main ambitions: ZERO carbon footprint; ZERO water waste; ZERO irresponsible drinkings; and ZERO accidents culture – each of which has individual and measurable goals.

The “Together Towards ZERO” programme was developed in partnership with the world’s leading experts and is based on a scientific approach. It is also harmonised with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, while its intention is to reduce emissions of harmful gases to lower levels than the basic values set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

ZERO carbon footprint

  • Climate change is among the most significant problems facing humankind, and, as recognised in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, companies must also take appropriate measures. The Carlsberg Group, in cooperation with non-profit expert organisation Carbon Trust and on the basis of scientific findings, defined the target values for reducing emissions of harmful gases to levels that would contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5°C, which represents an even more ambitious goal than the one set out in the Paris Agreement.
  • The Carlsberg Group has set the goal of achieving ZERO emissions of carbon dioxide in its breweries by 2030, and of using electricity 100% produced by renewable sources in its breweries by 2022. Through its Carlsberg Circular Community, the Carlsberg Group is also working with partners throughout the entire value chain in order to reduce emission levels throughout the entire production and distribution chain of beer to final customers (so-called Beer-in-hand) by 30% by 2030.

ZERO water waste

  • Today water is not managed in an optimal way in too many parts of the world, and water shortages represent a significant cause for concern. In cooperation with WWF experts, Carlsberg has identified which of its breweries are located in areas where there is a significant risk of water shortages and has defined goals that will lead to reducing the waste of water to ZERO.
  • Among the new goals are reducing water use in breweries by 50% by 2030, and cooperating with partners in order to better manage water in high-risk areas surrounding certain breweries.

ZERO irresponsible drinking

  • Alcohol abuse and irresponsible behaviours, such as driving under the influence of alcohol and juvenile alcohol consumption, must be prevented. This is often the result of a complex combination of social and individual factors, so Carlsberg works with a committee composed of international scientists – health and behavioural experts – to define activities that will provide support to consumers in making healthy and responsible decisions.
  • Among the new goals is the distribution of non-alcoholic beer at the level of 100% by 2022, in order to provide consumers with the biggest possible choice, as well as communicating messages about responsible alcohol consumption and information on the nutritional value of products, both on the internet and on packaging, and establishing partnerships to promote responsible consumption.

ZERO accidents culture

  • Workplace accidents are unacceptable, and the health and safety of employees are always our top priority. Carlsberg exerts efforts at the level of the entire organisation – from production, through sales, to administrative work – with the aim of preventing accidents and building a culture of ZERO accidents at work.
  • Among the new goals is reducing the rate of injuries sustained from year to year, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of ZERO injuries.

All these ambitions and activities reflect the vision of the Carlsberg Group, producing beer for a better today and tomorrow, and the Group will continue to work together with the world’s leading experts in order to achieve these ambitious goals. Starting with its strong scientific foundations, the Group will form a Community of young scientists whose work will be directed by the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, a place where crucial discoveries are made, such as pH scales, purified yeast and crops resistant to climate change. The Carlsberg community of young scientists will contribute to the further development of scientific knowledge about CO2, water and sustainable beer production, to the benefit of both the Carlsberg Group and society as a whole.

Cees’ t Hart, Director of the Carlsberg Group:
“Global challenges like climate change and water shortages require a strong collective response. Through the ‘Together Towards ZERO’ initiative, we are establishing new standards of sustainability at the level of the entire industry, based on scientific findings and grounded in partnership relations as part of our SAIL’22 strategy.

“We are committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to zero and halving the use of water in our breweries by 2030. The first step in this direction will be the transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2022 and cooperation with partners with the aim of protecting shared water resources in certain areas that are threatened by water shortages. I am certain that through the achieving of these goals we will improve efficiency, reduce risks and enable more efficient operations, and in line with local communities and the environment.

“Our clear goals and ambitions reflect the mentality of our founders – always strive for perfection and contribute to society through science. The world needs leadership, and that’s why we have set improving the world of tomorrow as our primary priority, through support for the achieving of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Tom Delay, Director of Carbon Trust:
“It’s no longer just enough to be better. Carlsberg’s ambitions go beyond reducing carbon dioxide emission to levels that science says are needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Carlsberg has really taken on a leading role in terms of some of the most significant environmental issues that the world is currently facing, and has prepared an ambitious long-term business strategy focused on achieving a sustainable future.”

Jochem Verberne, Director of Global Partnerships, WWF International:
“WWF and Carlsberg Group have jointly analysed the risks of its operations in terms of water resources, as well as the Group’s existing water usage strategy. We are extremely pleased that, on the basis of this analysis, Carlsberg has set an ambitious goal that other companies will have to follow. With this, it has recognised that responsible water management requires significant technological innovation at the level of breweries, as well as cooperation with other stakeholders in risky basins in order to ensure the long-term availability of water for people, the planet and the economy.”

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