Anheuser-Busch announced that even with production increases, the weight of material it contributes to community landfills from its 12 U.S. breweries has been reduced by nearly 22 percent (or approximately 2,400 tons) in 2008 compared to the same time frame last year. All of this is part of the brewer’s ongoing efforts to recycle the solid waste associated with brewing and packaging its beers, to a rate of more than 99 percent.
“Our employees are to be commended for their efforts to find ways to recycle and reuse materials throughout our operations,” said Peter Kraemer, vice president of operations for Anheuser-Busch Inc. “At each of our 12 U.S. breweries, our people are looking for ways to use fewer materials and keep the solid waste we do generate out of landfills. Their accomplishments are truly making an impact, not only in our breweries, but in the communities in which they live.”
Recycling at Anheuser-Busch is a tradition that began in the late 1800s when the company first recycled brewers’ grain into cattle feed. Among the items reused and recycled at the breweries include: spent brewers’ grain, plastic strapping, stretch wrap, aluminum, glass, cardboard, plastics, office paper, metals, pallets and beechwood chips. This amounted to nearly four billion pounds of materials in 2007. To help emphasize its recycling efforts, Anheuser-Busch has placed a print ad in this week’s editions of Sport Illustrated and U.S. News and World Report. Featuring Fort Collins brewery employee Blair Everett, the ad notes the company’s long-standing environmental record.
Anheuser-Busch has also focused on reducing the amount of materials used at its breweries. For example, the company has reduced aluminum can weight by more than 40 percent since the 1970s. Employees are also encouraged to look for ways to conserve energy, water and raw materials in daily operations at the breweries and learn how to conserve energy and recycle at home through environmental fairs and the company’s annual “Green Week,” a yearly tradition dating back to 1990.
Anheuser-Busch is also expanding its use of alternative fuels and announced earlier this year that more than five billion 12-ounce servings of beer – or the equivalent of about one in seven beers brewed by the company in the United States – are expected to be brewed using renewable fuel by the end of 2009, thanks to environmental efforts at the company’s 12 U.S. breweries.
As a member of the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Program, Anheuser-Busch has committed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2010 for all of its U.S. operations. Using EPA standards, this reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent of taking nearly 30,000 passenger vehicles off the road or heating more than 14,000 homes. In addition, the company has also committed to increasing the total use of renewable fuel from 8 percent to 15 percent in the same time period.