By the Blouin News Science & Health staff

Göss, the world’s first large carbon-zero brewery

by in Environment.

(Source: Ars Electronica/flickr)

(Source: Ars Electronica/flickr)

Next week will be the E.U.’s Sustainable Energy Week, and one of the featured events will be the presentation of the Citizens’ Award to voters’ favorite renewable energy project. All nine finalists are superb, but here Blouin News highlights just one: Heineken’s Göss brewery in Austria, which at the end of 2015 reduced its CO2 emissions and its waste to zero.

The facility is now powered by renewable energy sources, including its own beer-making waste via a biogas digester. Using these 18,000 tons of organic waste per year for energy required a lot of innovation, but the firm has pulled it off, and now the Göss brewery is the largest of its size to be carbon-zero.

The brewery also draws power from solar, hydropower, and waste heat from a neighboring saw mill. Furthermore, key ingredients for the beer are sourced locally whenever possible, reducing transportation energy in the supply chain in an effort to further shrink the company’s carbon footprint. The brewery has thus ended its previous annual CO2 emissions of 3,000 tons, and has shown other breweries can follow suit. The success of the Göss brewery is also in line with Heineken’s larger goal: reducing its global CO2 emissions from production by 40% by 2020.

Rather than snazzy advertising, this is what firms should be focusing on. Then let the products speak for themselves, buoyed by local and national pride. Cheers to that!

For more on renewable energy, check out the 2015 BCLS panel Sustainable solutions to the global energy crisis.