Anheuser-Busch InBev recently announced a commitment to secure 100% of the company’s purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In total, this will shift 6 terawatt-hours of electricity annually to renewable sources in the markets where AB InBev operates and will help transform the energy industry in countries like Argentina, Brazil, India and markets across the African continent. This increased renewable electricity generation – which is the amount of energy produced in one year by solar panels covering the area of more than 400 soccer pitches – will support efforts to achieve climate targets under the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) agreements.
“Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we live and work,” said AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito. “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.”
As part of this initiative, AB InBev expects to secure 75-85% of electricity through direct power purchasing agreements. The final 15-25% will mainly come from on-site technologies such as solar panels.
This commitment will make AB InBev the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the consumer goods sector globally and will reduce the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30%. This will have the same positive effect as removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road. The renewable energy target also demonstrates AB InBev’s continued commitment to following a low carbon pathway, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The company has also joined RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses that are all committed to using 100% renewable electricity. RE100 is led by The Climate Group in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project.
AB InBev’s renewable electricity transformation will begin in Mexico, which is home to the company’s largest brewery, in Zacatecas. AB InBev has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Iberdrola for 490 gigawatt-hours per year. With this new partnership, the company will be able to meet all of its purchased electricity needs for production sites in the country. The agreement with Iberdrola is also expected to increase Mexico’s wind and solar energy capacity by more than 5%. Iberdrola will build and install 220MW of wind energy capacity onshore in the state of Puebla, and energy generation is expected to begin in the first half of 2019.
AB InBev plans to enter into similar agreements in other markets in the near future. By launching this new partnership in Mexico, AB InBev hopes to demonstrate that by switching to renewable electricity, businesses across the world can contribute to a 100% renewable electricity future.
This kind of move by a major player can only be a good thing, given recent events in the US which look to damage future climate control projects.