Investing in environmentally friendly beer solutions is one of the leading priorities for the brewing industry worldwide. Against the backdrop of global warming and climate change, rising awareness of sustainable development has become one of the most important topics for the industry. This is why breweries are taking a holistic approach to responsible production, introducing circular economy programs that typically cover the entire supply chain, as well as the socio-economic impact of their business.
Innovation and modernization of production favors the reduction of carbon emissions, reduction of resources used in production. Separate waste collection can reduce energy and raw material consumption by 70 to 90%. In our country, all generated waste in the enterprises is collected separately and opportunities for recovery and recycling of each individual waste are constantly sought. In this regard, according to the Brewers' Union, last year approximately 7,900 tonnes of glass bottles, 1,700 tonnes of PET bottles and 300 tonnes of paper were recycled from the packaging placed on the market by members of the association. More than 2,000 tons of can packages have been collected for recycling.
One of the most important environmental solutions for sustainability in the brewing sector is related to the optimization of water consumption. It is vital for the entire cycle and integrity of the beer industry - from the cultivation of raw materials - to the sparkling drink in the glass of consumers. In order to protect water resources, Bulgarian brewers have achieved a reduction in water nearly three times in the last 10 years, and for the production of one hectolitre of beer today use an average of between 3 and 4 hectoliters of water. At the same time, the water treatment in the three major breweries is carried out through anaerobic biological plants, which achieve 100% treatment and 90% treatment of production water.
Again, thanks to investments in energy efficiency and optimization of resources, the use of electricity in production is reduced by 30%, and according to SPB data in the production of one hectolitre of beer in some companies in 2020 will use only 22 MJ of electricity. For the last 2 years, depending on the introduced green innovations, the relative carbon emissions of the large breweries have also been reduced by an average of 12 - 14%, and the recycling of glass beer bottles has saved 2,500 tons of CO2.
Commenting on these results, the executive director of SPB Ivana Radomirova shared: "Environmental behavior and the contribution of companies to sustainable development are already a key priority for any responsible business. For FMCG producers, such as the beer category, these responsibilities become even more important as they influence the consumer's choice of a good or service. Today 21%, i.e. Every fifth Bulgarian prefers to buy a product from a company that is socially responsible, and for 45% of our compatriots this means responsibility for the environment and sustainable development. In this context, the main theme of the National Beer Academy of St. Petersburg in 2021 is focused on the green idea, practices and training for the eco footprint of brewers. Together with our partners from the Causey Foundation, we are already developing an interactive digital eco-platform with concrete solutions on how to make amber drink fans involved in green industry initiatives. ”
The new projects of the Bulgarian brewers are in full sync with the new joint commitment of the Brewers of Europe for circular economy and sustainability Brewing green - https://brewing4.eu started in 2020. Despite the crisis with Covod-19, the innovative initiatives of the big and small breweries around the world, including in Bulgaria, stimulate the industry to adopt a greener approach to the production, procurement of raw materials and distribution of beer in order to achieve the goals of the circular economy and sustainable development by 2030.
For the Union of Brewers in Bulgaria:
The Union of Brewers in Bulgaria (SPB) is the representative organization of beer producers in the country "Bolyarka - VT" AD, "Britos" EOOD, "Zagorka" AD, "Kamenitza" AD, "Carlsberg Bulgaria" AD, "Lomsko Pivo" AD , Dorovski Invest EOOD and their suppliers of raw materials and equipment. The priority for SPB is the educational campaign "National Beer Academy". It is realized with the expertise and participation of engineer-technologists and scientists working in the research fields of brewing technology, ecology, microbiology, nutrition and others.