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The World’s Largest Brewer Is Going Green At Welsh Brewery

Budweiser Brewing Group News

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s UK arm is creating the first green hydrogen supply to its brewery in South Wales.

The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s UK arm plans to create the first green hydrogen supply to its brewery in South Wales. Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I has partnered with a UK-based green hydrogen energy firm Protium to study how to transform the brewer’s current transport and energy usage into renewable energy.  

This is part of the company’s wider sustainability goal to source 100% of its global electricity use from renewable sources by 2025. The new hydrogen infrastructure should produce more than 20 megawatts of renewable energy and green hydrogen at the South Wales location.

This would power the brewery’s operations as well as key logistics and transportation vehicles. The company plans to use its existing wind and solar infrastructure to make green hydrogen at a Protium facility next to the brewery. The goal is to eliminate 15,500 metric tons of carbon per year starting in 2027. This is equivalent to about 3,300 cars or 12,000 long-haul flights per year, according to the company.

“Sustainability and the wellbeing of our planet are at the core of our business,” said Mauricio Coindreau, head of sustainability and procurement at Budweiser Brewing Group.

“Innovative energy solutions like hydrogen have huge potential as a key part of our sustainability strategy, helping us significantly reduce our UK carbon footprint.”

AB InBev’s global 2025 sustainability goals include purchasing 100% renewable energy, reducing its carbon emissions by 25%, creating water efficiency in all its facilities, and making 100% of its packaging from mostly recycled or returnable content.

The UK arm also announced in 2020 that 100% of the barley used in brewing would come from local farms, which would help reduce carbon emissions generated by transportation and importation of the grain. It has also removed all the plastic rings from the beer bottles and reduced its use of plastic shrink wrap.

“Hydrogen is an exciting opportunity as it’s the lightest and the most abundant element in the universe,” explained the company in its statement. “It also acts as an energy carrier which means it could play a crucial role in supporting the transition to a decarbonized global economy. There are zero greenhouse gas emissions associated with hydrogen generation if the energy required for this process originates entirely from renewable sources, such as solar or wind. In this case, the hydrogen is commonly referred to as ‘green’ hydrogen.”

The UK company expects the green hydrogen project to be commercially operational by 2024. 

“Green hydrogen is a truly exciting opportunity for the global energy sector and the UK economy as a whole, with various energy leaders and environmentalists supporting its deployment,” said Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium. “So, we’re delighted to be working with a brand that shares our forward-thinking vision.”

The company also announced in June that it plans to hire more than 30 people at the South Wales brewery following a £70 million ($97 million) investment to increase production capacity. Magor Brewery has 500 people working at its site and has been brewing since 1979. Budweiser brands include Stella Artois, Bud Light, Hoegaarden, Patagonia Cerveza and Presidente Beer. In addition, its Beyond Beer roster includes canned wines, hard seltzers, and canned cocktails.

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