Molson Coors Beverage Company has become the first major U.K. brewer to operate entirely by renewable energy.
The maker of Carling, Coors, Doom Bar and other iconic beers has signed a power purchase agreement with RWE, a leading renewable energy company, that supplies its U.K. operations with energy generated from the Tween Bridge wind farm in South Yorkshire.
The 10-year agreement means each of the more than 1 billion pints Molson Coors produces in the U.K. in an average year will be made with 100% renewable energy.
The 22 Tween Bridge turbines will power Molson Coors’ brewing operations in Burton, Tadcaster and Sharps in Cornwall, as well as the Aspall Cyder House in Suffolk, and its corporate offices, national distribution center and national call center in Cardiff.
RWE will provide Molson Coors with about 75 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year. Annually, Molson Coors consumes the same amount of electricity as about 25,000 households, similar to the population of the home of its flagship brewery in Burton-upon-Trent.
“One of our values at Molson Coors is taking accountability, and that includes being responsible for the impact our business has on the environment. That’s why we’ve made such bold commitments to play our part in tackling climate change – because it is the right thing to do,” says Fraser Thomson, Molson Coors’ operations director for Western Europe.
“We know that this matters to our people, our customers and consumers, and they can now be assured that everything we do, and every pint we make, is powered by 100% green electricity,” Thomson says.
Molson Coors’ global sustainability efforts include reducing its carbon emissions across its direct operations by 50% by 2025, in line with the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
With the RWE partnership, Molson Coors’ U.K. operations are on track to achieve that goal four years early.
The brewer has made progress in other parts of its sustainability plan.
- Across the company, Molson Coors' packaging is now 99% reusable or recyclable.
- It recently launched a pilot test in the U.K. where it packaged its Staropramen brand in bottles made of 100% recycled material.
- The company invested around $10.5 million (£7.5 million) to remove single-use plastic from its Carling and Coors packaging.
- This year, Molson Coors is removing the plastic rings from its Carling and Coors cans, replacing it with recyclable fully enclosed cardboard sleeves, and last year it removed the plastic film wrap from its large multipacks.
The company also has made strides to reduce its water use. In the U.S., for instance, the renovation of its massive brewery in Golden, Colo., will reduce water use by 100 million gallons. Last week, on World Water Day, it announced the formation of the Texas Water Action Coalition, a group of corporations working to conserve the Upper Trinity River in Texas.