Every Drop Counts: Five Water-Saving Strategies from the Carlsberg Group's Chinese Breweries

Apr 26, 2017 9:05 AM ET

Carlsberg Case Stories | Sustainability in Action

Our Chinese operations are reducing water usage through diligent housekeeping and careful monitoring. Their success demonstrates that improving water efficiency doesn’t always require radical change.

In 2016, the amount of water used to brew one hectolitre (hl) of beer was reduced by more than 7% in our Chinese breweries. Around the country, 11 sites reduced their water use by more than 10%. Two stellar performers actually used less than 3 hl/hl: the Carlsberg Brewery Guangdong (Huizhou), and the Urumqi No. 2 Brewery.

Five water-saving strategies

Across China, we closed some inefficient breweries and employed five key strategies to reduce water use at the remaining ones:

  1. Cutting wasted water in packaging equipment by limiting bottle-rinsing water to the precise amount needed and maintaining equipment to avoid leaks.
  2. Improving production planning by bundling batches and raising line efficiency to minimise stoppages and idle water consumption.
  3. Revising cleaning programmes to reduce unnecessary rinsing water. For example, shortening rinsing time without compromising on cleanliness.
  4. Using recycled water from production to preclean returned bottles before they enter the regular bottle washer.
  5. Reducing water in steam generation by returning more condensed water and improving boiler water quality.

In an effort to progressively reduce water use, we will continue to seek out, improve and share approaches such as these.

Find out more about the Carlsberg Group’s sustainability efforts and download the 2016 report at carlsberggroup.com/sustainability