Heineken has transformed its brewery in Göss, southern Austria, into the first major carbon-neutral brewery in the world.
Energy supply at the site, near Graz, is now fully based on renewable energy and CO2 emissions from fossil fuels will be zero, the Dutch company said. The milestone is a continuation of Heineken’s long-term effort to reduce Göss Brewery’s environmental footprint, which it began in 2003.
It has been achieved thanks to electricity from hydropower, biomass district heating, solar thermal energy and renewable energy from the newly built beer grain fermentation plant by BDI – BioEnergy International.
Brau Union Österreich CEO Markus Liebl said: “We are immensely proud that beer production at Göss will in the future be fully CO2-neutral thanks to the beer grain fermentation plant. This makes it the first carbon-neutral large-scale brewery in the world.”
Close to 40% of the brewery’s heat requirement will be met from waste heat discharged from the neighbouring Mayr-Melnhof sawmill; 90% of the waste heat generated in the brewing process will be used to heat water; and a new type of boiling system for the brewing process has been adopted, helping to save electricity and water.
A solar plant of 1500m² will help to generate environmentally friendly energy, while energy generated from brewery residues will be used to generate steam and any excess volumes will be converted into electric current, Heineken said. What’s more, 100% of the raw materials used at the brewery will come from inside Austria.
Andreas Werner, brew master for Göss Brewery, said: “Through a combination of innovative technology, creative thinking and partnerships with our local community, we have turned a heritage brewery into the world’s first major zero carbon brewery.
“Our Göss brewery may be in a small town but our goal was to make a big impact. I am proud of what we have achieved for the Heineken Company and want to help our other breweries, and the wider brewing industry, make renewable energy part of their energy mix, just as we have done.”
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