Kerry Announces Results of Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment of its Brewing Solutions Portfolio

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Kerry Announces Results of Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment of its Brewing Solutions Portfolio

Kerry Announces Results of Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment of its Brewing Solutions Portfolio
December 03
09:15 2020
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Kerry, the Taste & Nutrition company, has released a technical report detailing the results of a sustainability LCA conducted on Kerry’s range of brewing ingredients and enzymes. Entitled Brewing Sustainably: Quantifying the carbon reduction and cost–benefit effectiveness of Kerry Brewing solutions, the LCA conducted in conjunction with global-leading sustainability experts Jacobs Engineering, examined a number of Kerry brewing solutions and found a cumulative third-party-verified benefit of energy savings reaching 19% and CO reductions of 41%. Production cost savings were cumulatively found to be €1.70 per hectolitre.

Around the world, brewing is well recognized as an energy-intensive process that uses a significant amount of water and power, while also generating a considerable volume of waste. Its environmental impact is assessed regularly, and efforts in recent years in improving sustainability have delivered advances; still, more improvements are needed. There are six key components in a beer’s life cycle sustainability analysis (packaging, refrigeration, distribution, raw materials, brewing operations and waste management). The latter three involved in brewing operations were the focus of this LCA, and the study found significant improvements when processing aids and an enzyme were applied. The technical report with results can be downloaded here.

“The LCA confirms the Kerry range of brewing solutions has significant potential to reduce environmental impact in energy savings and CO₂ reductions, while also delivering cost savings,” explains Eoin Lalor, R&D Director for Alcoholic Beverages, Kerry. “While progress towards sustainability in every brewery is unique, these results show the impressive possibilities that are available to help every brewery reduce costs while improving sustainability. For breweries , the rewards can be high, as consumers increasingly seek out purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability with almost 90% of global consumers now expecting companies to invest in sustainability. The Covid-19 pandemic, has if anything, accelerated consumer interest in sustainability, and this is opening- up opportunities for brewers to take a progressive position on this important topic.”

FermCap™ and Biofine™ lead the way

FermCap™ – Kerry’s antifoaming agent, prevents excessive foaming during production by lowering surface tension. In the LCA study, the application of FermCap™ delivered energy savings of 8% and a CO emissions reduction of 19%. Biofine™ is used to flocculate yeast at the end of fermentation. The study found that Biofine™ delivered a 14% reduction in maturation time, a doubling of filtration cycles, and a drop of 50% in filter aid consumption. Other benefits included a 1% reduction in beer loss, a 5% CIP reduction, 8% lower energy use, and 17% reduction in CO₂ emissions.

The LCA also examined the impact of other Kerry brewing products, including  Bioglucanase™, an enzyme that improves filtration performance; Whirlfloc™, a copper fining agent used to increase wort recovery and filter run lengths; and Yeastex™, comprised of fermentation nutrients able to reduce fermentation times and increase yields. Cumulatively, these innovations yielded in a 19% reduction in energy usage and a 41% lowering of CO emissions. Total monetary savings amounted to €1.70 per hectolitre.

“As our LCA study on the brewing process illustrates, there are significant sustainability improvements to be had for brewers around the world through the use of advanced brewing ingredients and enzymes,” adds Eoin Lalor. “Kerry’s targeted solutions provide brewers with a suite of product options to improve sustainability within their production processes, while simultaneously decreasing costs. With sustainability never as important as it is today, it is clear that the findings of our LCA will appeal to brewers seeking to enhance their sustainability efforts, reduce their carbon footprints, lower production costs, and develop a brand message that will resonate with consumers.”

The LCA study model was based on a medium- to large-sized brewery producing one million hectolitres per annum with 100% malt and wort at 18˚P. More technical details on the study can be found by downloading the technical report here.

Kerry’s Beyond the Horizon Sustainability Strategy

Consumers desire convenient, healthy, high-quality products that taste good produced in a sustainable and ethical manner. This requires food and beverage manufacturers to be forward-thinking in efforts to improve sustainability across the board. Through Kerry Group’s sustainability strategy, Beyond the Horizon, Kerry will enhance and expand its solutions to create better food and beverages with its customers and industry partners in terms of sustainable nutrition, climate action, responsible sourcing, circularity and society.

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