3 minute read - 20th July 2023
Heineken makes £25m Manchester brewery investment
Heineken UK has announced a £25m investment into its Manchester brewery, aimed at reducing its carbon emissions. The investment will include the installation of heat pumps to support Heineken’s global ambitions to reach net zero emissions across scopes 1 and 2 by 2030, including its UK production sites in Manchester, Tadcaster and Hereford, and across the full value chain (scope 3) by 2040.
The total investment, which includes a £3.7m grant from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, will be used to install innovative technology to capture heat from various sources, including the refrigeration units on site, and to then redistribute and reuse this excess heat to power other brewing stages, such as mashing and pasteurisation and even to wash the returnable kegs.
The technology is a major step forward in the brewery’s mission to reduce its carbon emissions, as until now, gas has been used to generate the heat needed for certain parts of the brewing process. Once completed, due by the end of 2024, it is estimated the installation will result in a circa 45% reduction in gas use at the site.
Boudewijn Haarsma, managing director at Heineken UK, said: “We’ve been around for 150 years and if we want to be here in another 150 years, we need to act now to deliver on our sustainability ambitions. In short, we want to brew a better world. This announcement is hugely positive and represents a sizeable inward investment from Heineken into UK decarbonisation. It builds on our wider company-wide efforts to reduce our emissions as we continue to work towards our global ambitions to reach net zero across our production sites (scope 1 and 2) by 2030.
“We will not get there alone, we know collaboration with partners will be key. There’s been a brewery at this site for well over 100 years, and we’ve been proudly brewing in Manchester for fifteen years. With the city of Manchester’s ambition to reach net zero by 2038, we want to play our part in this journey for the city and its people, and to share the learnings we gather along the way.”
Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, added: “I’ll certainly raise a glass in honour of this game changing project backed by government funding that will help Heineken, Manchester and the country reach our collective net zero ambitions. Heat pumps are key to helping us to decarbonise our heating and I’m delighted to see government funding go towards such an innovative scheme that will help cut emissions and show other businesses how to move away from costly fossil fuels.”
Heineken is the UK’s largest pub, cider and beer company, and behind brands including Birra Moretti, Foster’s, Strongbow and Cruzcampo. It is thought to be the first beverage company of this scale in the UK to install this technology.
The £25m investment into the brewery will significantly reduce reliance on gas through the installation of heat pumps, powered by renewably sourced electricity, retrieving and distributing heat through an interconnected heat network across the site, from brewing to packaging. By introducing this circular process, waste heat is redistributed from the brewing process to replace the thermal energy previously generated from burning fossil fuels. The second phase of the brewery’s journey to reduce its carbon emissions will be the decarbonisation of the brewhouse which is scheduled to take place in 2024. The third and final stage will require the site to use additional alternative renewable energy, which work is underway to identify.
Heineken Manchester Brewery employs 240 people, and it is expected that up to 100 people from around 10 businesses will work on site during the installation of the heat pumps and heat network.
The brewery produces over seven hundred million pints of Heineken, Birra Moretti and Foster’s per year, and already has solid sustainability credentials which includes using electricity exclusively from renewable sources, as well as being the first Heineken site globally to roll-out the Green Grip cardboard toppers to replace plastic rings in 2020. This is mirrored at each of Heineken UK’s other scale sites.