Beer is the low-carbon pint, says Adnams

31st October 2013


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Products ,
  • Life Cycle Analysis

Author

IEMA

A pint of Adnams beer generates fewer carbon emissions than a pint of milk, according to the UK brewer, which has footprinted all its bottled beers

The Suffolk-based drinks firm undertook lifecycle assessments of its range of 10 bottled beers and found that a pint produced 646g of CO2 equivalent, compared with 800gCO2e generated by a pint of semi-skimmed milk from Tesco.

The brewer and winemaker, which produced the UK’s first carbon neutral beer in 2008, used PAS 2050 to assess the emissions generated in making its 550ml bottles of beer and calculated that emissions ranged from 529gCO2e for a bottle of Southwold Bitter to 711gCO2e for its Spindrift beer.

“Understanding each product’s environmental impact is a complicated and intricate piece of work: it’s not as simple as just measuring electricity usage. Everything was considered, from growing the hops and cereal through to glass manufacture and label production,” said Ben Orchard, environmental sustainability manager at Adnams.

The lifecycle assessment revealed that the firm’s stronger flavoured beers – Broadside, Innovation and Tally-Ho – had higher footprints because they require more cereal, meanwhile the bulk of emissions across all the beers is from the manufacture of the glass bottles.

Adnams has already replaced the signature blue bottle it used for Spindthrift as the result of the carbon footprinting exercise. It revealed that making the heavy, German-manufactured blue glass bottle generated 160gCO2e more than the bottles used for its other beers.

The new brown bottle, introduced this month, is 30% lighter and manufactured in the UK –cutting the distance the bottles travel by 62% – and has cut Spendthrift’s total carbon footprint by 20%.

The brewer now plans to measure the carbon footprint of the rest of its products. “We believe that there is a growing interest and knowledge of these issues amongst Adnams drinkers,” said Richard Carter, Adnams retail management accountant.


Transform articles

IEMA reacts to UK government's Net Zero Strategy

IEMA has raised concerns around a lack of funding for proposals outlined in the UK government's Net Zero Strategy, which was published earlier this week.

21st October 2021

Read more

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

Climate change remains one of the top issues most concerning the UK public, despite the economic turmoil experienced over the last 18 months, a poll commissioned by IEMA has found.

15th October 2021

Read more

Almost one-third of Europe's largest companies have now set net-zero emissions targets, but far less are set to deliver on their ambitions.

7th October 2021

Read more

A group of world-leading climate scientists has today warned that carbon pricing is currently too low to deliver a just transition to a net-zero economy, and that "urgent reforms" are needed.

30th September 2021

Read more

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew has today unveiled a new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss and develop sustainable nature-based solutions to some of humanity’s biggest global challenges.

28th September 2021

Read more

How to Save Our Planet is call to action that aims to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change. We need to deal with climate change, environmental destruction and global poverty, and ensure everyone’s security.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Hannah Lesbirel and Beccy Wilson speak to IEMA members about climate anxiety

23rd September 2021

Read more

Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert