Budweiser, the world’s most valuable beer brand, is to be brewed with renewable electricity as AB InBev UK inks a deal with Europe’s largest solar energy company, Lightsource BP, to purchase 100% renewable electricity for its UK operations.
The 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) will roll out 100 megawatts of solar power, making it the largest unsubsidised solar energy deal in UK history. Lightsource BP will fund, develop and operate solar installations that will generate enough electricity for AB InBev’s breweries to power the equivalent of 18,000 homes.
AB InBev’s two main UK breweries, based in Magor, South Wales and Samlesbury, Lancashire, produce over 17 million bottles and cans of Budweiser each week.
The new solar capacity is expected to be added and connected by Lightsource BP at the end of 2020 and all Budweiser brewed and sold in the UK will begin to feature a new symbol to encourage consumers to choose a beer brewed with 100% renewable electricity. The symbol, which has already rolled out across Budweiser in the US, is available for other businesses to use, in a move that the brewer hopes will help to shift consumer choice.
This move towards operating with 100% renewable electricity reinforces AB InBev’s global 2025 Sustainability Goals, which includes the target of a 25% reduction to carbon emissions across its full global value chain against a 2017 baseline – the equivalent of taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road each year.
Jason Warner, Zone President for Europe at AB InBev, said: “Beer has been bringing people together for 3,000 years and we want to ensure that people can continue to enjoy it for generations to come, which is why we’re committed to brewing the highest-quality beer sustainably.
“This deal is about driving positive change in what people buy in their weekly shop, order in the pub or drink with friends. We want to build a movement towards celebrating and growing renewable electricity, and are asking our consumers, customers, colleagues, business partners and fellow companies to join us – we are making our 100% renewable electricity symbol available for any brands who share these values.”
Nick Boyle, Group CEO at Lightsource BP, said: “Solar is cost-competitive, scalable, reliable and quick to deploy. Our partnership with AB InBev is further proof that solar power can now be delivered at a cost-competitive price. This deal will help transform the energy mix for one of the UK’s biggest brewers, contributing to the overall share of renewables production across the UK.”
“We have reached a pivotal point in the UK energy sector where unsubsidised solar is going to truly make its mark as the cheapest form of energy generation, even compared to wind. We are proud to be at the forefront of this transition with AB InBev, demonstrating that solar makes an ideal partner for corporate power.”
AB InBev has committed that by 2025 at a global level, all its purchased electricity will be sourced from renewable sources. The company is making progress in shifting to renewable electricity in its operations around the world, including in Mexico, the United States, Australia, China and India. This global commitment will make AB InBev the largest corporate buyer of renewable electricity in the consumer goods industry.