The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, has joined RE100 – a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity.
AB InBev, which produces beverages consumed in the States – including Budweiser, Beck’s and Stella Artois – said its goal is to purchases all of its electricity from renewable origins by 2025, representing about 90 percent of its total electricity consumption worldwide.
According to RE100, this move will make AB InBev the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the global consumer goods sector, reducing the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30 percent. Currently, the company obtains about 7 percent of its purchased electricity from renewable sources.
“Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we live and work,” commented AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito in a company statement, adding, “Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business, and we are committed to helping drive positive change. We have the opportunity to play a leading role in the battle against climate change by purchasing energy in a more sustainable way.”
In future, the company expects to secure 75 percent to 85 percent of its purchased electricity through direct power purchase agreements (PPA). Indeed, Ab InBev has just signed its first with Spanish multinational electric utility Iberdrola in Mexico, home to its largest brewery, in Zacatecas. The new agreement with Iberdrola will provide 490 GWh of wind power annually, enabling AB InBev to use 100 percent renewable purchased electricity at all of its production sites across Mexico. The move is expected to increase the country’s total wind and solar energy capacity by more than 5 percent.
Iberdrola will build and install 220 MW of wind energy capacity onshore in the Mexican state of Puebla, and energy generation is expected to begin in the first half of 2019.
AB InBev is planning to secure similar PPAs in other markets in the near future, helping to transform the energy industry in countries like Argentina, Brazil, India and South Africa. The rest of its purchased electricity will mainly come from on-site technologies such as solar panels.