Cheers to sustainability and a clean energy future! Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer whose brands include Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, has announced a commitment to secure 100% of the company’s purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In concert with its decision, the beer maker has joined RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses that are all committed to using 100% renewable electricity.
In total, AB InBev says its commitment will shift 6 TWh of electricity annually to renewable sources in the markets where the company operates and will help transform the energy industry in countries like Argentina, Brazil, India and South Africa. AB InBev adds this increased renewable electricity generation will support efforts to achieve climate targets under the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) agreement.
“Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we live and work,” states AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito. “Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business, and we are committed to helping drive positive change. We have the opportunity to play a leading role in the battle against climate change by purchasing energy in a more sustainable way.”
As part of this initiative, AB InBev expects to secure 75-85% of electricity through direct power purchasing agreements (PPAs). The final 15-25% will mainly come from on-site technologies such as solar panels. RE100 says AB InBev currently gets around 7% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources, and although on-site fossil fuel generation currently accounts for about 10% of AB InBev’s total electricity consumption, the company will explore options for transitioning this to renewable power in the future, as well.
This commitment will make AB InBev the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the consumer goods sector globally and will reduce the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30% – the equivalent of taking nearly 500,000 cars off the road, according to RE100.
AB InBev’s renewable electricity transformation will begin in Mexico, which is home to the company’s largest brewery, in Zacatecas. AB InBev has signed a PPA with Iberdrola for 490 GWh of wind power per year, enabling the brewer to use 100% renewable purchased electricity across all of its production sites in Mexico. Iberdrola will build and install 220 MW of wind energy capacity onshore in the state of Puebla, and energy generation is expected to begin in the first half of 2019. AB InBev is planning to secure similar PPAs in other markets in the near future.
“Before long, we will see every Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois made with 100 percent renewable power, and it makes business sense, with financial savings, job creation and emissions cuts on offer,” says Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at The Climate Group. “AB Inbev is significantly boosting demand for renewables around the world, showing just the kind of leadership we need to slow climate change and speed a low-carbon economy, inspiring other companies right along the value chain.”
AB InBev joins a growing list of about 90 companies, including IKEA, Apple, Google and General Motors, that have made 100% renewable electricity commitments under the RE100 initiative.