Carlsberg aims for zero carbon emissions after Trump’s Paris pullout

Carlsberg has unveiled plans to reduce its brewery carbon emissions to zero, singling out Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement as a motivating factor.

The Danish brewer, whose beers also include Holsten Pils and San Miguel, said it would eliminate brewery emissions and halve its water usage by 2030 as part of a new sustainability drive.

This will include closing down small coal power stations at breweries in China, India and Poland, replacing them with renewable sources such as solar panels and biogas.

Carlsberg’s resolve to go green had been hardened by Trump announcing plans for the US to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, its chief executive Cees t‘Hart said.

“People in Carlsberg are more energised after Trump said no to the Paris agreement,” he said.

“We feel we can take responsibility in our own hands and don’t need to depend on politicians for this. You could argue it’s a drop in the ocean, but if everybody says that we won’t make any progress.”

T’Hart said Carlsberg’s plans, which include using only renewable energy to brew beer by 2022, were equivalent to taking 160,000 cars off the road.

The company does not expect to incur extra costs because it will shift investment from elsewhere in the business and expects the sustainability plan to reduce costs, such as energy bills, over time.

It will also hire PhD students to work in its laboratories on ways to reduce its carbon footprint and ask suppliers, such as firms that make packaging or grow barley, to implement their own environmental measures.

As well as aiming for zero emissions, Carlsberg will also step up its alcohol-free offering to target irresponsible drinking.

T’Hart said this was partly aimed at a “millennial generation” that drinks less than older people, as well as pregnant women and health-conscious consumers ditching sugary soft drinks.