MillerCoors Sets New Record for Water, Energy Conservation

Posted on Sep 16 2014 - 9:45am by Sustainable News

2014 Sustainability Report Highlights How Brewer Exceeded Water, Energy, Waste and Packaging Goals

MillerCoors water and energy use reached record lows last year, according to the 2014 MillerCoors Sustainability Report, Great Beer, Great Responsibility, released today. The nation’s second-largest brewer is now using an average of 3.48 barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer, a 9.1 percent decrease from 2012. For comparison, some U.S. breweries use more than 6 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer[1]. MillerCoors decreased its energy use by 15.6 percent from 2012, saving 1.6 billion mega joules of energy over the course of 2013. With these reductions and others, MillerCoors surpassed all the environmental stewardship goals it set out to achieve by 2015.

“Our employees are our most valuable asset and the driving force behind our success in sustainability,” said MillerCoors CEO Tom Long.

2014 Sustainability Report Highlights How Brewer Exceeded Water, Energy, Waste and Packaging Goals

2014 Sustainability Report Highlights How Brewer Exceeded Water, Energy, Waste and Packaging Goals

“From expanding our flagship Free Rides program to reducing our water and energy use to all-time lows, our employees are dedicated to doing the right thing for our company, our communities and our consumers.”

In the new report, MillerCoors said the use of short interval controls and improved efficiencies throughout its brewing and packaging processes yielded significant water savings across its breweries: from 2011 to 2013, MillerCoors saved more than 1.1 billion gallons of water as a result of its reductions.

The brewer also reported on efforts to reduce water use in its agricultural supply chain. Teaming up with The Nature Conservancy, MillerCoors built its Showcase Barley Farm in Idaho’s Silver Creek Valley to pilot new farming techniques that save water while still producing quality barley. Using these techniques, the farm has saved more than 429.5 million gallons of water over the past three years. The brewer created a similar program on the MillerCoors Farm in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, where it tests water-saving techniques and shares best practices with barley growers.

In 2013, the MillerCoors Albany and Golden breweries both achieved landfill-free status, meaning more than 99 percent of waste produced there is reused or recycled. Six of MillerCoors eight breweries are now landfill-free. Overall, in 2013 the brewer reduced waste to landfill by more than 1300 tons, a 9.2 percent improvement over 2012.

Great Beer, Great Responsibility outlines the brewer’s other sustainability achievements in 2013, including:

  • Reducing packaging by 3.6 percent from 2012
  • Providing more than 639,000 safe rides through the Coors Light and Miller Lite Free Rides programs in 13 communities
  • Partnering with the online taxi-finder app Hailo to give away $3 million worth of taxi rides in New York City, Chicago and Boston during the holiday season
  • Launching Miller Lite Tap the Future, a competition that pits teams of entrepreneurs against each other for a chance to win a piece of a $400,000 prize pool
  • Providing more than 311,000 hours of employee training through MillerCoors University
  • Generating $11.37 million for nonprofit partners through employee and corporate fundraising initiatives
  • Increasing its spend with diverse suppliers by $493 million

The full report can be viewed here.

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