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Four ways we've made our business more sustainable

By Adnams , also posted in News on

Adnams was established in 1872 and with 147 years of history behind us, we plan to be around for many more years to come. Adnams has sustainability built into the heart of our business and we’re constantly working to reduce our impact on the environment. We've done a lot already, but there's still more we can do on our sustainable journey. 

Adnams has put measures in place to reduce our carbon emissions, alongside reducing water usage, minimising waste and ensuring we support biodiversity. In 2013, Adnams was the first UK brewery to calculate the carbon footprint for our own bottled beer range followed by undertaking a full life-cycle assessment for our water useage in order to put reduction measures in place.

Adnams Sustainability Team comments: "Ensuring we all do our bit to engage in environmental issues and move towards a more sustainable lifestyle is essential to be able to continue enjoying our beautiful planet. Acting sustainably as a business, as a consumer or as a government is simply now the new social norm, so it is positive to see the Government's recent declaration of a climate change emergency acknowledging this. We must all play our part and Adnams has been doing just that as part of our ongoing sustainability story for nearly two decades now. You are never too small to make a difference."

Some of our biggest investments have been within our production and distribution facilities. Please see below details of each of those locations and how we source our energy to run them;

The Adnams Brewery

We reduced our gas use by 26% when we refitted our brewery and streamlined our processes in 2006/7. The state-of-the-art brew house recovers more than 90% of the steam produced during brewing, and then converts it back into heat to warm up the next batch.

This technology and thinking enabled us to reduce the average water use ratio for making a pint of Adnams beer down to 3:1

The Copper House Distillery

Our distillery, the Copper House, sits within the Adnams brewery in Southwold. It’s one of the most water and energy-efficient distilleries in the UK and also generates water and steam for the brewery, forming an integral part of our overall sustainable production system. 

We use the best modern distilling techniques and a small batch process in order to create spirits with exceptional purity, quality and, of course, flavour. We are able to control every aspect of our spirits production – we even grown our own rye from fields just a few miles from the distillery.

Adnams identified that the distillery produced a high temperature waste stream and realised it was a very valuable resource. Rather than wasting this heat and water, we wanted to capture and reuse it. In 2018 we combed different technologies in an innovative and unique way to reuse water and heat around our brewery and distillery using state of the art heat exchangers and pipes.

This technology has decreased our spirits water use by 50% and reduced our energy by a further 5-10%.

Sustainable Distribution Centre

Our Distribution Centre was built in 2006 featuring a living, green roof, lime-hemp walls and wooden glulam beams. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and is used to flush our loos. The thick roof and walls naturally insulate the building meaning that it requires no heating in the winter or cooling in the summer, and we have installed movement-sensor LED lights to reduce our electricity usage.

Using conventional bricks for the building would have emitted at least 300 tonnes of carbon, however, it’s estimated that the lime-hemp bricks have locked in between 100 and 150 tonnes of CO2 into the walls in addition to the reduced carbon emissions from the higher operational efficiency of the site. 

100% renewable electricity

We’ve switched our electricity supplies to 100% renewable sources emitting zero carbon. If we had not switched, our carbon emissions would have been 875 tonnes in 2018.

We first began procuring our UK based zero carbon energy back in 2012 by actively working with our energy broker to buy from suppliers who use higher than average renewables in their fuel mix.

In 2017, we switched the entire business (including our offices, stores, managed pubs and Distribution Centre) to a 100% certified renewable electricity supply.

 

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