Brewing Energy saving pilot for an innoVative, Efficient, and enviRonmental beverAGE process
The LIFE program is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 4306 projects, contributing approximately € 3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and the climate.
In 2016, AB-InBev has been granted approximately € 800 000 for the LIFE BEVERAGE project that is part of our ambitious dream to create a cleaner world. These LIFE programs contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and embed sustainability and social responsibility throughout our entire value chain.
The boiling step is the most energy consuming step in the brewing process, which consumes up to 20 % of the total heat required and generating high levels of greenhouse gases. Previous research at AB-InBev led to the publishing of the patented technology of “Method for treating a wort in a boiling kettle”. Fuel and water consumption can be drastically reduced in this process step by a disruptive innovation; using atmospheric air as the ultimate green resource. Bubbling nitrogen gas into the liquid will simulate the effect of boiling, without the heat requirements.
As the world’s leading brewer, AB-InBev has an important role to fulfil in addressing serious environmental changes such as water scarcity, resource depletion and climate change. With the LIFE BEVERAGE project we aim to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases caused by beverage production through a new process technology that will be piloted at breweries in Belgium and UK. We are passionate about our brewing traditions, but understand that traditional brewing processes often stand at the gateway to transformational change. The fundamental principles of the most energy consuming step in the brewing process are being questioned and carefully re-verse engineered. In this way AB-InBev aims to:
With this project we contribute to our 2018 environmental goals and beyond:
With a successful realization of the pilots, we estimate the following impacts in the 2 breweries:
While aiming at reaching these environmental goals, the brand integrity and high quality standards of our beers needs to be maintained or improved.