SDGs case study: Brewdog

SDG 13 Climate Action

Who is Brewdog?

Brewdog are a global craft Brewery who have sustainability at the heart of everything they do. They are on a climate action mission. Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action) calls for Urgent Action to combat Climate Change and its impacts. 

What initiatives have they put in place?

Through a slew of sustainable and efficiency measures Brewdog have already made some big strides towards being a greener business. They have several action plans including Brewdog Tomorrow and Make Earth Great Again, which have already invested in carbon removal/offset projects which make their entire scopes 1, 2, and upstream scope 3 emissions carbon negative. For every one tonne of carbon they emit, they remove 2 tonnes from the atmosphere. 

Net Zero

Their ultimate goal is Net Zero own operations by 2022.This means drastic reductions in emissions and increasing efficiency, reducing waste and water use across their whole business. 

  • They will reduce the carbon footprint per pint of beer by 40% in the next 12 months – a serious target showing that the interim offsets are not just a get out of jail free card.
  • Taking ownership of the carbon that is created through their product is a big part of SDG 13. 

Brewdog’s strategy is to offer a product that does good for the planet and to ensure that there is a planet to enjoy beer on in the future! Using crowdfunded investment and own capital (a total of £50 million invested in reducing their environmental impact) they are financing a variety of initiatives such as an anaerobic digestion plant at their brewery – this will turn their waste water into clean water and biogas which will be reused in production. 

Excess gas will be fed into the national grid further assisting wider decarbonisation. They will also build three 800kW wind turbines next to the brewery, providing them with offgrid access to 2,400kW of renewable energy and reducing demand on grid renewables. A CO2 recovery system will be installed to capture the carbon dioxide produced in beer fermentation, this can then be added to the product further down the line for carbonation, reducing their emissions as well as reducing their carbon dioxide supply requirements. 

Progress so far

So far their progress towards SDG 13 Climate Action has meant they have reduced scopes 1 & 2 emissions by 34% per hL or hectolitre (Hectolitre is a metric unit of volume equal to 100 litres), and scope 3 by 15% per hL.Overall, since 2016 they have reduced their consumption of key resources – water use per hL is down 37.4%, electricity use is down 36.3%, and gas use is down 29.2%.

All these changes amount to big climate action for Brewdog, and as Mike Berners-Lee puts it “Brewdog is giving some of the leadership the world so badly needs.” Cheers to Climate Action – SDG 13.