MillerCoors Recycles 98 Percent of Brewery Waste, Saves Resources

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MillerCoors released its 2009 Sustainable Development Report, “From Grain to Glass,” last week, representing the first such report since the 2008 joint venture between the two beer giants.

The report highlights the companies sustainable development efforts in five main areas:

Photo: MillerCoors.com

Recycling efforts outlined in the report contributed to a 98 percent recycling rate of all MillerCoors brewery waste in 2008. Photo: MillerCoors.com

  • Alcohol Responsibility
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Sustainable Supply Chain
  • People and Community Investments
  • Ethics and Transparency

According to the report, MillerCoors was able to reuse or recycle an impressive 98 percent of all brewery waste, including glass, plastics, paperboard, metals and organic waste.

The company partners to manage recycling and reuse of all brewing byproducts, including materials such as spent yeast. From ethanol production from waste beer to animal feed from left over barley melt, there is a place to reuse most all the organic waste produced.

The joint venture between Miller and Coors enabled the companies to travel 45 million fewer miles annually when transporting beer to the market, representing a reduction of 75,000 tons of carbon emissions.

Other sustainability highlights include:

  • Reduction of 10.4 million pounds of aluminum used per year due to a small reduction in the diameter of aluminum can ends.
  • Increased production of beer, but decreased usage of water. The company exceeded the 5.0:1.0 water-to-beer ratio standard set by the United Nations Environment Program at 4.1:1.0.
  • Reduction of corrugate packaging in point-of-sale marketing displays.
  • A reduction in the amount of aluminum needed in cans by seven percent over the last five years in two main breweries- the equivalent aluminum used to build 168 Boeing 737 airplanes.

“In our first year as a new company, we have established a strategy around sustainable development,” said Cornell Boggs, Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer for MillerCoors. “This report brings our hard work to light and puts the focus on MillerCoors people, business partners and communities.”

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