Our environmental approach is governed by the simple mantra of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. As a large manufacturer and purchaser of agricultural goods our priorities are reducing our water and energy usage and waste. We set clear public targets in our annual Sustainability Report and hold ourselves accountable to continual improvement.
Water is our most important ingredient – whether as rain to grow barley, hops, fruit or feed for cows, or as a direct ingredient in our beer.
We’re proud to be a regional leader in water management. Some of our plants boast world-class standards in water management and in many cases exceed them. We’re working hard to achieve ambitious targets to further improve our water efficiency through investment in new, more efficient plants and finding better ways to do things through the practical, day-to-day decisions made by our people.
We are also looking up and down the supply chain for ways we can work with our partners to reduce our industry water footprint.
Lion continues to make great progress reducing energy use and associated emissions and we’re excited about our pipeline of new energy efficiency projects.
Aside from the duty we owe the community to use energy responsibly, this approach makes good business sense. Energy efficiency and cost efficiency often come hand in hand and we expect to save millions of dollars though initiatives over the next few years.
A rationalisation of our manufacturing sites, including a multi-million dollar investment in new, more efficient plants, has played a key role in improving our energy efficiency over recent years. In addition, we’ve been attacking our underlying energy consumption with a range of initiatives under the Lion Energy Efficiency Program.
As part of the Program, we’re actively identifying opportunities to use more renewable energy.
Beyond the gates of our breweries and manufacturing sites, we measure emissions up and down the supply chain every couple of years and we work with our partners to mitigate the carbon footprint of the inputs we buy and the journey to the point of purchase.
For over 20 years, we’ve voluntarily invested millions of dollars to improve our manufacturing processes, reduce litter and increase the recycling of our bottles, cans and liquid paperboard containers.
Recently, we reviewed the way we manage waste right across our business, engaging a waste management expert to look at both solid and liquid waste to improve performance and rationalise waste and recycling services. We’re now in the process of embedding that strategy across the business.
While beverage containers already enjoy a very strong return rate across every state across Australia and in New Zealand when compared to other packaging types, we remain committed to further improvements in return and reuse rates and litter reduction.
Key to improving environmental outcomes is ensuring as many returned containers as possible are actually recycled. Currently, many go to landfill because there is no economically viable reuse option. We’ve been working with our industry partners and community groups to explore further improvements via the Australian Packaging Covenant, which has played a huge role in improving environmental outcomes over the last couple of decades.