BrewDog goes green with new bio-energy plant to fuel production of 176 million pints

Maverick Scots brewer BrewDog has ramped up its environmental credentials after firing up a green gas plant that will power the production of more than 176 million pints of beer a year.

The new £12 million bio-energy plant at the firm’s Ellon headquarters in Aberdeenshire will result in 7,500 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions every year when running at full capacity. Later this year, BrewDog plans to begin using surplus green gas to fuel delivery vehicles, as well as helping to decarbonise the national grid.

Since the new brewery in Ellon opened in 2013, the beer-maker has reduced the volume of water it takes to make its beer by more than 50 per cent, but there is still waste created by the brewing process.

The anaerobic digester will help the business recycle most of the 200 million litres of wastewater produced every year in the beer-making process, as well as generating bio-methane to power the brewery’s boilers.

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Over the coming years, BrewDog also plans to use the CO2 created by the digester to carbonate its beer.

The facility forms the centrepiece of the firm’s £50m investment plans to slash carbon emissions. As well as powering the brewery, the biomethane produced will be used to create compressed natural gas to power delivery trucks, which will deliver the beer to its Glasgow distribution hub.

Sarah Warman, director of sustainability, said: “We’re not just here to make great beer - we’re making great beer that doesn’t cost the Earth. Our ambition is nothing short of making BrewDog beer the most planet-friendly beer on Earth, and we’ve taken giant strides towards that goal with our new bio-energy plant.

“Our number one sustainability goal is to reduce emissions, and we want to lead the way for the entire brewing industry. We want all our teams to feel like the work they do supports our mission to protect the planet.”

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The new £12 million bio-energy plant at BrewDog's Ellon headquarters in Aberdeenshire will result in 7,500 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions every year when running at full capacity.

The firm said the digester strengthened its track record on renewable energy including using wind power across its entire UK business. Its Australian brewery utilises solar panels on its roof and the company’s US brewery is set to follow suit with its own solar power plans to drive down emissions.

BrewDog’s sustainability initiatives also include one of the largest tree planting and peatland restoration projects in the UK. The 9,308-acre Lost Forest near Aviemore will see more than 1.1 million trees planted, alongside peatland restoration, and will be capable of removing significant carbon from the atmosphere over the next 100 years.

The brewer recently unveiled a bumper £100m share award, further global expansion and a push into spirits as it set out a “blueprint” for the next 15 years.

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Co-founder James Watt, who last year made an apology after being accused of fostering a culture of fear among staff, is to donate a fifth of his personal stake in the business to staff to mark the firm’s 15th anniversary.

Watt set up the beer-maker in 2007 alongside co-founder Martin Dickie. It now employs more than 2,300 staff.

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