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Adnams Beers’ Carbon Footprint

By Benedict Orchard, also posted in News on

Adnams has continued its Lifecycle Assessment work having now calculated the carbon footprint for all its cask, bottled and canned beers. We first began to work on carbon footprinting in 2012, and in 2013 we became the first UK brewer to carbon footprint our own bottled beer range. This pioneering work has now been extended to include Adnams cask and canned beer range. Adnams has continued to work with the Adapt Low Carbon Group at the University of East Anglia using the latest specifications (PAS 2050:2011) to calculate each beer's footprint.

How does Carbon Footprinting work?

We use a complete lifecycle approach, in line with our 'grain-to-glass’ production philosophy, to assess the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions created at every stage of beer production and consumption. For bottles, cask and cans, there are differences in the amount of carbon emissions throughout their lifecycles, owing partly to the differing raw ingredients across the range. For example, one of the highest carbon-emitting stages of drinking a pint in your local pub from cask is actually from the building in which you enjoy your pint. Many pubs are old, heritage-listed buildings and have a low building energy rating thanks to things like drafty windows, open fireplaces and lack of modern insulation. Overall, however, drinking a pint of Adnams in a pub has just three quarters of the carbon emissions of a bottle enjoyed at home. Drinking beer from a can is the lightest in terms of carbon footprint, but cans themselves have other environmental implications.

Ben Orchard, Adnams Environmental Sustainability Manager, comments on the results: “This work has identified again Adnams’ continued commitment to ensuring its impact on the environment is always a positive one. We continue to work closely with suppliers to understand some of the uncertainties, often associated with the raw materials such as the abstraction for aluminium cans, and hope these latest assessments will help us to continue improving our environmental performance year-on-year. The great thing about an aluminium can is that the consumer has a large influence on this environmental performance. Recycling a can reduces the energy required to manufacture a new one by 95%, so we strongly encourage everyone to recycle theirs! The findings top-off a number of awards which have again marked our green credentials in 2014. For example, 2014 saw the company awarded with a ‘Special Commendation’ at The Drinks Business Green Retailer of the Year Awards, and this was then followed by both our hotels receiving a ‘Green Leaders’ award on the Trip Advisor site. Being environmentally aware and taking action to lead the way on the green agenda is fundamental to the way Adnams operates – and has been for many years – but also something we feel is of increasing importance to our customers. So, for any environmentally conscious beer drinkers, we recommend out Ghost Ship beer – a can of which emits the least carbon across its lifecycle!” To find out more about our carbon footprinting, please don’t hesitate to send me an email.


Benedict Orchard