WHY SUSTAINABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT TO US
We would like to invite you to look more deeply into the sustainability activities of Brau Union Österreich. This information is intended to show you how important this subject is to us. It has long been a tradition to utilize practices in production and logistics to conserve resources. Protecting the environment is close to our heart, and not the least because beer, our most important product, is a natural beverage and is only as good as the raw material used to make it. Clear, pure water, the best hops and the best malting barley all require a healthy and intact environment.
Climate change also affects our operations: growing conditions for summer barley are becoming less optimal in various agricultural regions. This is why we have decided to increase our use of winter malting barley in order to reduce the risk of failed crops. In addition, we have secured our supply of Austrian hops from the Mühlviertel and southern Styria with contracts for several years.
As part of the international HEINEKEN family, we share the motto “Brewing a Better World“, Brau Union Österreich is working to enhance Austrian beer culture while meeting modern social and environmental challenges. In doing so, we follow recognized international standards such as the UN Global Compact. As a strong emphasis is placed on sustainability in all departments, numerous projects were implemented in 2015 at our brewing facilities and logistics centers with a significant impact on business, the environment and society. This even extended to external stakeholders, such as suppliers.
Beer is more than just a beverage to us – it represents an important part of our living culture. As the largest brewing group in Austria, it is understood that we take measures to protect the environment, reduce waste, support Austrian agriculture, ensure the health and safety of our employees, and promote responsible consumption of our diverse product portfolio. Specifically, we are concentrating on projects concerning water, CO2, sustainable procurement and responsible consumption.
We have – and I see this as a flagship project among our diverse efforts in the area of sustainability – achieved a unique success: with thefull operation of the beer grain fermentation plant in 2016, our facility at Göss will become the first large scale brewery in the world to achieve a 100 % CO2 neutrality. This is possible with electricity from hydroelectric sources, remote heat energy generated with biomass and renewable energy from the new spent grain fermentation plant manufactured by BDI – BioEnergy International.
Naturally we are proud of this accomplishment; however, we are not stopping with this success, but will continue to implement further measures at all of our locations. We do not simply want to reduce specific energy consumption over the short term through various energy projects but want to make it possible to convert to alternative energy sources over the mid-term, which will reduce dependence on oil and gas. One example of just such an innovation is testing the feasibility of geothermal energy at the Zipfer Brewery. Additionally, the implementation of international standards such as certification according to process optimization systems contributes to sustainable practices – for successful business operations, safety for employees and protection of the environment.
I invite you to find out more about our initiatives, our strategies, goals and projects. We would be pleased to receive your feedback and ideas on our path to creating the best beer culture for the future!
Markus Liebl – Director General, Brau Union Österreich