Preeti Srivastav, Group Sustainability Director at Asahi Europe & International
1. Tell us a little bit about your company’s renewable energy and broader sustainability strategy?
We are living in one of the most important decades to determine our future. If there ever was the time to act, it is now. Things will not start moving on their own. Being leaders in most of the markets where we operate, we believe we need to lead by example.
We’ve moved sustainability into the core of our strategy and plan to accelerate our efforts as we move on. We focus on the current decade and have set some ambitious goals for 2030. Our aim is to become carbon neutral within our breweries and work with partners to cut our carbon footprint across the whole supply chain by 30%. We plan to maintain and improve best-in-class water consumption in our breweries, use only packaging that is fully circular, and source ingredients in a sustainable way. By 2025, all electrical energy that we use in our breweries will be coming from renewable sources.
2. How did you decide on these actions?
The overall impact of our products does not take place only in the breweries. And therefore, it is very important to me as sustainability director and for Asahi as a company to understand the impacts beyond our breweries.
In order to understand its scale, we set up carbon measurements and life-cycle assessments. Based on these, we will initiate partnerships and actively cooperate with our suppliers and customers to accelerate reduction of emissions, especially in the area of packaging, transport and cooling of beer on sale.
Packaging is essential to secure the highest quality of beer for consumers. We want to create a future in which we will sell our products in fully circular packaging and are proud of the journey we have taken so far in this direction. 44% of the beer we brew is sold in reusable packaging, be it returnable bottles or on tap in pubs.
By 2030, we will use only containers, as well as secondary packaging that is reusable or fully recyclable, and made chiefly from recycled content.
3. Why is sustainability important to Asahi?
Climate change is an indisputable phenomenon and is affecting the lives of all of us. As the carbon in the atmosphere is the main source of that, we feel the need to reduce our carbon emissions, to become fully carbon neutral. This is our top priority, in order to create a positive legacy for future generations.
4. What challenges have you faced in your company’s renewable energy journey? How did you overcome them?
In order to achieve our Renewable Energy goal, we are implementing various environmental measures such as purchasing renewable energy certificates, promoting energy conservation through improvements in the production process, and increasing the use of renewable energy.
One of the biggest challenges is to develop a customised approach for each country, each market and each region. Given that we are a global company, we understand and acknowledge that we will need to perform due diligence for the options and solutions for each market separately.
We are also vigorously promoting research and development, including the testing of new technologies, such as a fuel cell-based power generation system utilising biomethane from wastewater and a CO2 capture test plant, for practical application.
5. What is your number one piece of advice for companies wanting to go renewable?
For global companies that want to go renewable, my advice would be to keep an open mind and explore the entire spectrum of solutions for each market. One size definitely doesn’t fit all in the renewable energy landscape. Another important aspect is to look for unusual partnerships and coalitions with other buyers, suppliers and NGOs which can accelerate and enhance the renewable energy transition.
We also had time for a few non-work questions…
1. What is your dream vacation post-Coronavirus?
Being with family and friends and enjoying conversations together in person is what I look forward to, as do many of us in isolation due to coronavirus lockdowns.
2. What is your favourite food or drink and who would you most like to share it with?
Any meal and drink shared with loved ones resonates most with me.
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