Environmental Stewardship Case Study:
Zero Waste to Landfill
As part of our commitment to Corporate Responsibility we are always looking for ways to improve Our Beer Print, reduce the environmental impact of our products and improve the efficiency of our operations. One of the ways we can do that is by reducing the waste we generate and how we dispose of it. As Bill Coors once said, ‘waste is just a resource out of place’.
In 2013 we established an operational 2020 Sustainability Strategy where we committed to an ambitious target to send zero waste to landfill across our operations by 2020.
We currently dispose 16% of our waste to landfill, the amount varies by brewery and in many we are already well on the way to the target of zero. We have three breweries in the UK which have been landfill-free since 2012. In 2013, this saved the company approximately £160,000 in landfill taxes. In the US, 6 of MillerCoors’ 8 major breweries are also landfill-free. To reach our target, we first need to understand if the waste stream can be eliminated. Secondly, we need to determine how we can maximize its usefulness though re-use or recycling.
Our resource efficiency agenda is also important beyond our landfill reduction target. The malting and brewing process creates “co-products” such as malt residual pellets, spent grains, waste yeast and other liquid slurries. These co-products have agricultural and nutritional value, predominantly due to their high protein content. We are able to sell the co-products to other manufacturers who use them to make new products, such as soil fertilizers or animal feed. In 2013, we saw a 25% increase in revenues derived from selling co-products. Not only are we reducing our environmental impact but we are reusing materials that directly or indirectly enrich other products.