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17th March 2023

Brewing our way to Net Zero: SIBA launch sustainability strategy and member consultation

A new sustainability strategy published by the Society of Independent Brewers has today set out plans for helping independent breweries across the UK to meet the ambitious Net Zero targets set by the UK Government.

Launched at brewing industry trade event BeerX today, the ‘Brewing our way to Net Zero’ will include a consultation with breweries, suppliers and others across the UK before being implemented.

This comes as the latest 2023 YouGov Craft Report consumer poll shows almost half of consumers (48%) believing that sustainability credentials of a brewer is an important factor when choosing a beer. For female consumers this increases to 52% with 55% of younger consumers saying it is important.

In his introduction to the report Andy Slee, SIBA Chief Executive, highlights the fact brewers already take many positive measures to lessen their environmental impact, but more still needs to be done.

“In many respects small independent breweries lead the way in sustainability. Their core product is locally produced beer, 66% of which is packaged into reusable containers and sold to community pubs predominantly within a 40-mile radius of the brewery.  There are also many breweries who have placed environmentalism front and centre of what they do with astonishing results – water usage down to 1.5 pints, energy sourced solely from renewable technology and early adopters of CO2 capture equipment to name but a few of the cutting edge initiatives adopted by independent breweries.

“Yet as small and medium sized businesses, many independent breweries lack the economic, human and technical resources they need to make the jump to net zero – increasingly the number one priority in sustainability. As significant users of materials and as energy intensive businesses they face an uphill challenge to meet the government’s ambitious and legally enforced environmental goals over the next few decades.” Andy Slee, SIBA Chief Executive

The practical ‘Brewing our way to net zero’ sustainability strategy sets out how independent breweries can achieve their net zero obligations with help and support from SIBA as well as examples from breweries that lead the way.

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and has to be delivered in an economic, rational way to enable small independent breweries to make the changes to their businesses they need to succeed in the decades to come.” Andy added.

SIBA has identified six key areas on which they will focus to help small breweries achieve the Net Zero targets, these are: Energy Use, Ingredients, Transport & Logistics, Packaging & Recycling, Solid Waste Management, and Water.

Within each of the key areas SIBA has set out short, medium and long-term goals to achieve Net Zero for the independent brewing sector by 2045 – 5 years ahead of the Government’s legally binding Net Zero emissions targets, which dictate net zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce national emissions 78% by 2035 and 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

The report consultation with launches today and be open until 19 May which will gather feedback on the scope and objectives of the report, giving the opportunity to feedback on the suggested course of action and offer alternatives to meet the demands of the Government’s Net Zero targets.


To view the ‘Brewing our way to net zero’ report click here (4mb) or the full high resolution version can be accessed here (147mb)

To download the image below click here.

To view the report consultation click here (which is open until 19 May)

Press release from SIBA.

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