Asia Pacific Breweries on track to increase usage of sustainable agricultural raw materials to 50% by 2020

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Asia Pacific Breweries said that they are on track to the goal of acquiring 50% of their main raw materials from sustainable sources. ©Getty Images
Asia Pacific Breweries said that they are on track to the goal of acquiring 50% of their main raw materials from sustainable sources. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Brewery, Beer, Grains

Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) is on track to achieve the aim of acquiring 50% of their main raw materials from sustainable sources, said Mitchell Leow, head of corporate affairs at APB Singapore.

As of last year, 28% of its main raw materials used came from sustainable sources, exceeding its intermediate target of acquiring 25% of main raw materials from sustainable sources by this year.

Two years ago, only 17% of main raw materials were acquired from sustainable sources.

The company uses four primary ingredients in the production of beer, comprising water, barley, hops and yeast.

Imported from Europe and the United States, the malt and hops are made into beer in APB’s factory in Singapore.

“In terms of suppliers' standards, we are proud to share that 100% of our suppliers meet the Heineken supplier code which outlines our expectations of suppliers in integrity and business conduct, human rights and environment,”​ Leow said.

He added that the company is also in talks with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and other partners to carry out feasibility studies on recycling spent grains into reusable items. 

Last year, scientists from ​NTU ​invented a new process to turn spent brewery grains into a valuable product that can grow beer yeast.

The conversion process turns brewers' waste into a valuable liquid nutrient, as similar commercial liquid nutrients are sold for US$30 per litre. 
 
In comparison, the team’s upcycled liquid nutrient is produced at only a fraction of the cost.

In the case of APB, approximately 70 tonnes of spent grain is used on a daily basis, and these grains constitute as much as 85 per cent of the brewery’s total by-product.

The firm currently re-purposes spent grains by sending it to farmers as animal feed.

Leow will share more about the company’s effort on ensuring sustainable food production during the second Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit​ that will take place in Singapore on September 4 and 5. 

Water consumption

Besides sourcing raw materials from sustainable sources, APB said it also aims to reduce water consumption by 30% by 2020.

To do so it has commissioned an on-site waste water treatment plant within the brewery, which is expected to cut down annual water consumption by 11%, which is about 66,750m3​ of water, Leow revealed.

The firm also has a rainwater collection system that harvested 14,652m3​ of water in 2017, which is equivalent to the size of almost six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Water collected is used for non-production purposes such as cooling of the towers, irrigation and general washing.

“More often than not, to be more sustainable requires financial investments in capital expenditure, equipment, manpower and logistics. As a responsible business, we strongly believe that this is the right thing to do,” ​Leow said. 

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