26 // Cover Story
We adopted hydrocarbons for two reasons – one, because they help to deliver the energy efficiency that we want; and two, because of their significantly lower GWP. – Graeme Houghton, Heineken
emissions across the business. By 2020 the company is targeting 40% lower emissions from production, 50% lower emissions from fridges, and 20% lower emissions from distribution in Europe and the Americas. Conscious of the private sector’s responsibility to cut emissions and help lead the transition to a lowcarbon and climate-resilient economy, in 2018 Jean-François van Boxmeer joined the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, an informal network of CEOs committed to climate action facilitated by the World Economic Forum. In early 2018, ‘Drop the C’ was extended to renewable energy, with the target of growing renewable energy usage to 70% by 2030.
Proud to be green Targeting 50% lower emissions from fridges by 2020, Heineken provides ‘green’ fridges whenever a fridge needs replacing and tests fridges against the Heineken Energy Efficiency Index (HEEI). The brewer defines green fridges according to the following four principles: the use of hydrocarbon refrigerant, LED illumination, an energy management system, and energy efficient fans. “We discovered hydrocarbons as part of our ‘Brewing a Better World’ programme. We adopted them for two reasons – one, because they help to deliver the energy efficiency that we want; and two, because of their significantly lower GWP compared to the existing refrigerants we used in our fridges,” Houghton says.
Surpassing the 2020 commitment, Heineken achieved a 41% reduction in relative CO 2 emissions in 2017 (2016: 37%). Emissions have also decreased in absolute terms; even though production volumes were 57% higher than in 2008, emissions were down 7%.
“So that was the pairing of it. We work with a number of cooling partners. We use an independent cooling advisory group, which helps us with the technology side of things, plus our cooling partners – the fridge manufacturers,” Houghton says.
This was primarily achieved by improving breweries’ energy efficiency, using more renewable energy, and replacing high CO 2 fuels with lower-emission alternatives.
To facilitate the optimal serving of Heineken and the other brands, whether in cans, bottles or draught, the company itself provides the infrastructure. “In the majority of cases, we own the fridges and draught beer equipment. We place it with our customers to help them serve the perfect Heineken,” Houghton says.
Putting sustainability at the heart of its business model, Heineken sets itself various targets under its 'Brewing a Better World' strategy. The brewing giant is continuously introducing more renewable energy sources into the production energy mix; 29% of Heineken’s electrical energy and 7% of its thermal energy came from renewable sources in 2017 (2016: 25% and 5%). For production Heineken has set new targets for 2030: growing the share of renewable energy from 14% in 2017 to 70% by 2030, implying an 80% reduction in emissions per hl compared to 2008.
Currently a resident of Amsterdam, Houghton’s Heineken career began in his native UK, where he was responsible for procuring draught beer equipment. “Six years ago now, I moved to the centre to cover that globally,” he says. He became leader of the team that manages both draught beer and fridges a year ago. In 2017, almost 100% of the 137,818 new fridges Heineken bought had one or more (and in many cases all four) green features. CO 2 emissions per fridge were 48% less than in 2010 (2016: 46%). Since the beginning of 2018, 100% of the fridges Heineken is purchasing are ‘green’.
Accelerate Europe // Summer 2018
HEINEKEN: CHEERS TO A GREENER WORLD!