The Carlsberg Group’s 2018 Sustainability Report shows steady progress against the targets set out in its sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO, in a year focused on bringing sustainable innovations to consumers.
Launched in 2017, Together Towards ZERO is rooted in Carlsberg’s purpose and forms a part of the company’s SAIL’22 strategy. It consists of four major ambitions: ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking and a ZERO accidents culture. The programme was developed in partnership with leadings experts, including the Carbon Trust and WWF, and is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
For 2018, the Carlsberg Group reports steady progress on its sustainability ambitions, during a year in which the Group also presented strong financial results − accelerating top-line growth and improving margins. Since its 2015 baseline, Carlsberg has reduced relative carbon emissions by 20% and water consumption by 9%, showing the Group’s determination to decouple growth from environmental impacts. In 2018, Carlsberg launched a series of consumer-facing sustainable innovations, including Snap Pack, which reduces both plastic waste and carbon emissions.
Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group:
“I’m pleased with the progress on our sustainability ambitions since the launch in 2017. We’ve reduced our relative carbon emissions by 20% since 2015, and with Snap Pack we’ve demonstrated our ability to bring consumer-relevant innovations to the market. We’ll continue to sharpen our focus and accelerate our journey towards ZERO to emphasise that successful business is sustainable business.”
Key sustainability progress:
20% reduction in relative carbon emissions since 2015 (5% since 2017)
46% of electricity globally and 100% in Western Europe now comes from renewable sources (+1 %-point since 2017; +5 %-point since 2015)
20% of total energy now comes from renewable sources such as biogas, biomass, solar, wind and hydro (+2 %-points since 2017; +5 %-points since 2015)
9% reduction in water consumption since 2015 (same as 2017)
A series of consumer-facing sustainable innovations launched, including recycled shrink wrap, the new Snap Pack, which reduces multipack plastic usage by up to 76%, and PU:REST – the first beer in Sweden made from recycled wastewater.
ZERO carbon footprint
In 2018, Carlsberg continued to make progress towards its ambition of a ZERO carbon footprint by 2030. All 29 breweries in Western Europe use 100% electricity from renewable sources with solar and renewable energy certificates. 20% of the Group’s total energy usage (+2 %-points since 2017) now comes from renewable sources, helping to deliver the 20% relative emission reduction since 2015 (5% since 2017). Coal usage has been reduced by 78% since 2015 (28% since 2017), and Carlsberg is continuing its efforts to convert the remaining coal-fuelled sites in China, India and Poland on the journey towards ZERO coal by 2022. Outside its breweries, Carlsberg has introduced a series of packaging innovations, including Cradle to Cradle Certified™ silver inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability, recycled plastic shrink wrap and the new Snap Pack, which reduces multipack plastic usage by up to 76%.
ZERO water waste
During 2018, the Carlsberg Group revised its global water operational standards to reinforce a rigorous efficiency drive which has so far delivered a 9% reduction in water consumption since 2015 (flat since 2017). This equipped breweries around the world with an understanding of the minimum expected, while working hard to maintain the industry-leading water efficiency of 3.1 hl/hl. Faster change is needed in order to meet the Group’s 2022 target of reducing water usage at its breweries by 25%, and significant investments in water technology are planned. The ZERO water waste roadmap was redefined in 2018, with a focus on new technologies such as zero liquid discharge projects in India.
ZERO irresponsible drinking
2018 saw a number of actions to encourage responsible drinking, including more detailed product information and more alcohol-free options. The Group is on track to deliver on its target of 100% responsible drinking messaging through packaging and brand activations, with 96% of products now carrying such messages. Furthermore, 86% of packaging in Western Europe now carries voluntary information on ingredients and nutrition per 100 ml in accordance with EU requirements for food. A 33% volume growth in alcohol-free brews in Western Europe and 35% in Russia are paving the way to achieve the target of always offering consumers a great-tasting tasty alcohol-free option.
ZERO accidents culture
The picture of progress towards ZERO accidents is mixed, with an overall 35% reduction in the lost-time accident rate since 2015 (flat since 2017) but with three tragic fatalities in 2018. The roll-out of new Life Saving Rules in 2018 represented a foundational step in creating a ZERO accidents culture. Built on industry experience, the worldwide training programme highlights the importance of following rules in specific areas to avoid endangering people’s lives. Extensive leadership training also took place to embed a safer culture across the Group.
Economic and social contribution
In 2018, Carlsberg Group delivered a strong set of financial results, accelerating top-line growth and improving margins. The Carlsberg Group directly employed more than 40,000 people globally and is estimated to create indirect and induced employment of approximately 470,000 people. Furthermore, Carlsberg generated around DKK 130bn in government revenues and a total tax contribution of DKK 43bn. Carlsberg’s contribution to society has been further strengthened by its main shareholder, the Carlsberg Foundation, which granted more than DKK 500m for scientific, cultural and societal activities in 2018.