Beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced today a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040, encompassing areas including agriculture, brewing, packaging, logistics, and product disposal.

Food and beverage sector emissions account for about a third of global GHG emissions and are among the most difficult to address, with the vast majority coming from the supply chains of food and beverage companies, rather than from “direct” emissions from the companies’ operations.

According to Ab InBev, in 2020, Scope 3 emissions, those outside of its direct control, represented over 85% of its total footprint, with packaging accounting for 36.4% of the company’s GHG emissions, followed by emissions from product cooling, brewing operations, agriculture, logistics, conversion of brewing ingredients, and end of life. Ab InBev stated that it will engage with its value chain partners to develop innovative solutions to address these emissions.

Michel Doukeris, Ab InBev CEO, said:

“Delivering on our purpose to create a future with more cheers means we must act with urgency to help address the climate crisis and support our communities. Our business cannot exist without healthy, natural environments, thriving communities, and a resilient supply chain, all of which require strategic climate action.” 

The company outlined its approach to achieve net zero by 2040, which includes collaborations with suppliers, retailers, and start-ups with breakthrough technologies, engaging with the wider industry, engaging with farmers in its supply chain, and prioritizing local emissions reduction in its operations and across the value chain through investment to drive local innovation.

Key actions and opportunities across the company’s value chain include working with farmers on nutrient management, shifting to biofuels and biomass, implementing energy recovery, increasing recycled content, scaling low-carbon packaging solutions, implementing renewable electricity and heat solutions, implementing alternative fuel trucks, as well as more efficient refrigeration, promoting local recycling, and reducing waste, among others.

Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“We are paving the way in climate action through our 2025 Sustainability Goals. We are proud to be one of the first 100 companies to have our climate action goal, which is consistent with a 1.5-degree pathway, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. From building a resilient and agile value chain to solidifying our role as a trusted partner in local communities to identifying and capturing new sources of business value, climate transition and our broader ESG agenda will play a key role in delivering on our company strategy and purpose.”