Dutch beer maker Heineken now operates the world’s first large-scale zero carbon brewery, located in Austria. The Göss brewery is a super efficient facility that runs on numerous forms of sustainable energy and employs a slew of environmentally friendly business practices. As before, Gösser brand beer will be brewed at the facility and distributed throughout Europe, but now without adding excess carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
Heineken‘s brewing facility, which began its green renovations in 2003, is now powered completely by renewable and reusable sources, but the beer company didn’t stick to just one or two energy generation methods. The brewery draws power from solar, and hydropower, as well as biogas and waste heat from a neighboring saw mill. Key ingredients for the beer will be sourced locally whenever possible, reducing transportation energy in the supply chain in an effort to further shrink the company’s carbon footprint.
In addition to its clean energy, the high-tech brewery has a few other fancy environmental tricks going for it. The facility also has systems in place to reduce waste energy and boost energy efficiency. Altogether, its operations will be able to reduce carbon emissions from approximately 3,000 tonnes a year to zero.
“Through a combination of innovative technology, creative thinking and partnerships with our local community, we have turned a heritage brewery into the world’s first major zero carbon brewery,” said Andreas Werner, Brew Master at the Göss brewery. “Our Göss brewery may be in a small town but our goal was to make a big impact. I am proud of what we have achieved for the Heineken Company and want to help our other breweries, and the wider brewing industry, make renewable energy part of their energy mix, just as we have done.”
The new zero carbon brewery is part of the company’s larger environmental goal. Heineken is aiming for a 40-percent reduction in global carbon emissions from production by 2020. The brewery, which also brews a number of Austrian beers, was recently nominated for an EU Sustainable Energy Award in the Business category, and is also up for a ‘people’s choice’ award. The winners will be announced June 14.
Images via Heineken