Carlsberg Targets Supply Chain in its Drive to Net Zero

By Neil Perry & Sean Ashcroft
Brewing giant Carlsberg leveraging transparent supply chain technology to drive its bid to reach net zero carob emissions and ESG goals

Carlsberg is targeting procurement and sourcing as key drivers of its ambitious sustainability goals. 

“We've made steady year-on-year progress across all 11 focus areas in our sustainability programme," says Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Senior Director, Sustainability & ESG at Carlsberg Group.

He said this includes taking first steps in our newer areas of focus, including:

  • A power-purchase agreement to source renewable electricity from new assets in Lithuania
  • Establishing projects with NGOs to replenish water in areas of high water-risk in Cambodia, China, India, Laos
  • Using regeneratively grown barley in its brewing operations in Finland, France and the UK.

"Partnerships are key to our success as we continue to deliver on our ambitions,” says Hoffmeyer.

The company's Together Towards ZERO and Beyond (TTZAB) programme targets and commitments were launched in August 2022, to address the ESG issues impacting Carlberg's business, stakeholders and wider supply chain partners.  

Better transparency and accountability across its value chain is a key strategy for achieving the goals of the TTZAB programme.

Hoffmeyer adds: "We are optimistic about our work, yet remain aware we have a lot of work to do around our targets in 2030 and 2040.

"We have ambitious targets and commitments, and our journey is complex. Closing the gaps between where we are and where we want to be demands focus and extensive collaboration across the entire value chain."

Carlberg's aim for net zero farming footprint

A key area where Carlsberg’s procurement and supply chain network is contributing to its sustainability efforts is improvements in farming and sourcing practices to deliver more sustainably grown materials into its production pipeline.  

The company has committed to sourcing 30% of all agricultural raw materials from regenerative practices and sustainable sources globally by 2030, reaching 100% by 2040. 

Pilots running in France, UK and Finland produced 6,927 tonnes of regeneratively grown barley for its Kronenbourg 1664, Carlsberg and KOFF brews. The company is now looking to scale these procurement pilots in the coming years to maximise the impact of the programme.

“We cannot reach our targets alone," says Hoffmeyer. "Partnerships are vital across the value chain, which is why we are collaborating closely with local farmers, traders, maltsters, agronomists and NGOs who provide expertise in the transition to regeneratively grown barley.

“Over time this will allow us to offer our consumers and customers lower-carbon beers and contribute to improving the ecosystems we rely on. We will cooperate with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that we as a company and our industry as a whole, strives towards a net zero farming footprint.”

Another major brewer enjoying success in its sustainability efforts is Heineken Europe, which recently completed the transformation of its supply chain across the region.

Results from this include a 52% reduction in the volume of unique bottles used by the company, and also a cut of 50% in the amount of secondary packaging it is using. On sustainability, it has cut carbon emissions in production by 24% compared to 2018 levels. 

Perhaps most significantly, the company went from having 25 supply and operations planning teams to just one.

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