AB InBev: A sustainable supply chain case study

As AB InBev announces a major initiative to battle Scope 2 & 3 emissions, we profile the brewing giant's global efforts to cut greenhouse gas levels

Multinational drinks and brewing company AB InBev is undertaking a major project to further decarbonise its supply chain in Europe. Working with carbon solutions consultancy South Pole, AB InBev is targeting Scope 2 and 3 emissions.

Scope 2 emissions are those for which a company is indirectly responsible, such as the energy it buys for heating and cooling buildings.

Scope 3 emissions are those an organisation is responsible for up and down its supply chain. In 2022, the Scope 3 emissions in AB InBev’s supply chain – which spans a wide array of distributors around the world – accounted for 85% of the company’s total emissions.

South Pole is helping AV InBev cut greenhouse gas emissions through a group-buying initiative, designed to give customers and suppliers across Europe better access to renewable electricity, enabling AB InBev to power its operations with renewables at a lower cost.

The initiative is built upon European power purchase agreements, which are contracts between sellers and buyers for renewable generated electricity, and are usually long-term arrangements that set a specified price through an agreed period.

Here, we profile AV InBev, looking at both its origins as a company and also its wider environment goals.

AB InBev: a sustainability case study 

AB InBev is the world’s largest brewer, both by volume and revenue. It has brewing operations in 150 countries and 170,000 staff worldwide. It is the owner of a wide range of popular beers worldwide, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona.

The company was formed in 2008, when Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch joined with Stella Artois-maker, Interbrew, and Brazil’s AmBev.

On sustainability the company says: “By using data and technology to connect with our customers and consumers, by connecting our farmers with resources and by empowering our 169,000 colleagues to lead real change – this is our path to a more sustainable, inclusive and rewarding future."

AB InBev’s global headline targets on sustainability were set as far back as 2017, and it aims to achieve these by 2025. Its goals in this area comprise four pillars: Packaging, CO2 Emissions, Water, and Agriculture 

In 2021, following the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, it set out a new goal: to become net-zero by 2040. 

It has already made significant inroads towards sustainability. Since 2022, all beers that the brewer produces in Europe are brewed with 100% renewable energy, mostly wind and solar. This achievement, which is supported by a large solar energy plant in Spain, was 10 years in the making.

Another example of its progress on sustainability is provided by the Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG), which is the company’s brewing operation in the UK and Ireland.

BBG, which employs 1,400 people in three UK breweries, has invested in renewables to the point of having more electricity than it needs, which enables it to donate to good causes.

BBG is also investing in new technologies, such as green hydrogen with plans to build a first of its kind green hydrogen plant to power brewing and logistics. 

"Our aim is to advance sustainability around the world," the company says of its efforts to cut GHG emissions, and meet its 2040 net zero goals.

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