Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK arm of leading brewer AB-InBev, has announced plans to build the world’s first hydrogen-powered brewery in South Wales, UK. The brewery will be built in collaboration with UK-based green hydrogen company, Protium, and is expected to be completed by 2024.

This project ties into AB-InBev’s climate action plan to reach its 2025 sustainability goals ahead of the EU 2030 target to cut CO₂ emissions by 55% and the UK commitment to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. Sustainability is a key concern across the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry and one that is increasingly under public scrutiny. GlobalData’s latest Q3 2021 consumer survey reveals that a quarter (26%) of the UK population believe that a reduced carbon footprint is extremely important with regards to their choice of product, while a further 37% stated that it is quite important to them. This equates to an overall positive correlation to reduced carbon footprint with almost two thirds (63%) of the country, as opposed to just 13% who are unsure or don’t believe it is important.

It is also notable that of all respondents, only 1% are unsure of their stance regarding reduced carbon footprint claims. This shows how successful the media, government and NGO bodies have been in raising awareness and educating the British public on this issue. This makes it all the more evident that brands and companies must be transparent and actively demonstrate their initiatives to tackle the climate crisis, particularly with regards to reducing their carbon footprint. Almost a third (60%) of UK people want to see information about a product’s carbon footprint directly on the packaging. By making this information available in an accessible format – be that on the packaging or company website – brands are able to empower consumers and build trust.

Mauricio Coindreau, head of sustainability and procurement at Budweiser Brewing Group, stated that: “Innovative energy solutions like hydrogen have huge potential as a key part of our sustainability strategy, helping us significantly reduce our UK carbon footprint. As a company we are committed to continuously exploring technology that can help us meet our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals, so the key focus of this project is to ensure the efficient operation, application and sustainability advantages of green hydrogen.”

This announcement follows two other key sustainability initiatives from the group: that Budweiser will source 100% of its barley from British farms, significantly reducing the carbon footprint from imports and transportation, and the pilot launch of Budweiser’s aluminium can in partnership with Rusal and Elval which is produced using 100% renewable electricity.

The climate crisis isn’t going to end any time soon, and with the recent announcement by the UN that the world remains off its climate target as global greenhouse gas levels hit a new record high in 2020, the pressure to go carbon neutral will only rise. Budweiser’s initiatives are a promising start to help the company mitigate further environmental challenges the industry is facing and will prove to be valuable investments in the long term.


Data is taken from GlobalData’s Q3-2021 Consumer Surveys (September 2021)

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