Reducing CO₂Emissions

Why is this important?

CO2 emissions directly contribute to climate change, causing temperatures and sea levels to rise. This in turn has an impact on the availability and cost of raw materials and other resources.

As a leading global company, we believe it is our responsibility to play an active role in the reduction of CO2 emissions across the value chain, from barley to bar. We have set ambitious targets for doing so within the brewing, cooling, and distribution parts of our business. Additionally, we are actively working together with suppliers to reduce emissions in the design and production of our packaging, and with markets to focus on recycling and reusing after use.

In 2012, we calculated the carbon footprint for our 24 largest operating companies in Europe, Africa and the Americas based on 2011 data. The graph below represents 92% of the HEINEKEN company at that time.

The company’s carbon footprint in 2012 was 68 kg CO2 eq/hl (greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalent per hectolitre).

The results will be updated every three years, with the next update in 2015 to include the acquisition of Asia-Pacific Breweries.

Our priorities

Our priority by 2020 is to reduce our CO2 emissions:

40% lower emissions in production

We use energy for heating and power throughout our production processes - from brewing to packaging. We are cutting emissions by implementing good practices at each stage, reducing losses, optimising equipment, and making renewable energy sources like solar and wind power part of the energy mix.

50% lower emissions of our fridges

We are working with suppliers to develop best-in-class draught equipment technology and make sure that all our fridges comply with our global fridge policy.

20% lower emissions of distribution in Europe and the Americas

Reducing kilometres driven, improving fuel efficiency, and switching to other modes of transport are helping us reduce emissions in distribution.


CO₂ emissions from fridges

Cooling is essential to enjoyment of our beverages, but it is also a significant contributor to our carbon footprint.

To reduce this, we install 'green' fridges in new sites and when replacing old fridges.
We class a ‘green’ fridge as one that uses hydrocarbon refrigerant, LED illumination, an energy management system and energy-efficient fans. In 2013 almost all of our 116,000 fridges that HEINEKEN purchased had one or more of these specifics, and 50% were compliant with all four. We reduced the energy consumption of our new fridges by 40% against the baseline set in 2010 and continue to improve this for the coming years.

CO₂ emissions in distribution

HEINEKEN’s CO2 reduction efforts focus on areas like:

  • Reducing kilometres driven
  • Improving fuel efficiency
  • Switching to other modes of transports (rail instead of road)
  • Switching to more carbon-efficient vehicles
  • Collaborative fleet usage

HEINEKEN also maintains an active and open dialogue with external stakeholders and engages in external initiatives such as Green Freight Europe, Smartway and Clean Cargo that aim to improve the environmental performance of the transport industry overall.

For more, see CO2 emissions in distribution in our current sustainability report.

Reducing CO₂ emissions in production

We continue to reduce our CO2 emissions in production and are ahead of the milestone we set for our 2020 target. Some of the main factors that lead to this reduction:

  1. Increased use of more environmental friendly cooling agents.
  2. Improved energy efficiency of our operations
  3. Increased on-site production of renewable energy, including new solar energy plants
  4. Greater focus on sustainable procurement, leading to the purchase of more renewable electricity at our breweries in several countries.

See our 2013 Sustainability Report for more information about our progress.

CO₂ emissions from packaging

HEINEKEN’s Ecodesign Packaging Procedure (EPP) gives a structured method for packaging ecodesign, and this graphic illustrates the various areas to consider:


The EPP follows three key sustainability principles for packaging

See this case study how we developed and introduced a new, lighter Desperados bottle. We are also an active member of the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN). We are currently involved in a project related to the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, aimed at optimising collection and recycling in Europe.

Videos from this campaign


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