Your beer supply will be affected by climate change. Carlsberg and Heineken are taking steps

Beer will become increasingly expensive and could be in short supply by the end of the century because of climate change, experts say.

Increased droughts and extreme heat waves are threatening crops of barley, the grain typically used in beer, and also water, which makes up to 95% of an average beer.

Brewers are responding by improving their sustainability credentials. Here are some examples.

1. Heineken’s zero-carbon breweries

Based in Amsterdam, Heineken aims to be a carbon-neutral producer of beer by 2030 and have a carbon-neutral supply chain, including agriculture, packaging, distribution and cooling, by 2040. Using renewable energy to power its breweries is key to this.

In Spain, for example, Heineken has signed a deal with energy supplier Iberdrola to power all four of its Spanish breweries and its offices with solar power. It then plans to replace existing gas boilers with ones that use biomass.

This will allow it to brew beer using only renewable energy by 2023, when Heineken Spain aims to be 100% carbon neutral. Heineken has implemented more than 130 renewable energy projects since 2018, including five of the world’s 10 largest on-site solar-powered breweries, according to Global News Wire.

2. Carlsberg invests in natural carbon capture

Danish beer giant Carlsberg has joined forces with conservation charity WWF to help restore seagrass meadows around the UK coastline. Consumers can donate to the project through buying special edition packs of beer.

Seagrass is a marine plant that can absorb carbon up to 35 times faster than a rainforest when it is massed together in underwater meadows. These natural carbon sinks are at risk from pollution and extreme weather.

The project is part of Carlsberg’s Together Towards Zero sustainability strategy, which includes targets to halve carbon emissions at its breweries by 2022.

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