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Lion becomes Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer

13 May 2020:  Lion is proud to announce that it has become Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer.  By complementing its ambitious carbon reduction program with the acquisition of certified carbon credits, Lion has now offset its remaining organisational carbon footprint across its Australian beer business.

In November 2019, Lion signalled its intent to achieve Climate Active certification in 2020.

Since setting a target to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2025 from its 2015 baseline, Lion has established a ‘whole brewery’ carbon reduction approach across its Australian breweries, including energy efficiency initiatives, biogas utilisation, rooftop solar, renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) through to providing brewers grain to reduce livestock emissions.

In doing so, Lion has achieved a 28 per cent (approximately 30,000 tonnes) reduction in its absolute carbon footprint of approximately 106,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2015. Lion is on track to meet its carbon reduction target by 2025 and has gone one step further by committing to use 100 per cent renewable electricity to brew its beers in the same timeframe.

Lion CEO, Stuart Irvine said: “By resetting our emissions to net zero, we’re sending a strong message to our people and our supply chain that we are deepening our collective responsibility to measure, manage and reduce our emissions, and we remain fully committed to doing so, despite the challenges we are facing in our business and across the industry as a result of COVID-19.”

“We see offsetting our emissions as a last lever while we continue to look for ways to reduce our overall carbon emissions right across our supply chain over the longer term.  

“Our breweries continue to push the boundaries of efficiency and adopt industry-leading innovation. Speed is of the essence in stabilising the climate. That is why we are effectively throwing a safety net over our remaining operational CO2 footprint - giving consumers the confidence that our range of fantastic beers – from XXXX GOLD, to Tooheys New and Little Creatures - will be produced in carbon neutral breweries.”

Tasman Environmental Markets, Australia’s largest buyer of carbon offsets is providing Lion with a portfolio of verified projects to offset its remaining organisational carbon footprint. Lion is focussing on carbon abatement projects that deliver bush regeneration and protect vital habitat and food sources for native wildlife.

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Bold
Media & Communications Manager – Lion Group
+61 421 765 446

Elizabeth.bold@lionco.com

Notes to editors:

Lion has invested in a total of five projects:

  1. Fire with Fire – Arnhem Land – Northern Territory

Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory is prone to extreme, devastating wildfires that affect the landscape, people, plants and animals. This project is owned exclusively by Aboriginal people with custodial responsibility for those parts of Arnhem Land under active bushfire management. Local rangers conduct controlled burns early in the dry season to reduce fuel on the ground and establish a mosaic of natural firebreaks, preventing bigger, hotter and uncontrolled wildfires later in the season.

Using both aerial burning (incendiary pellets dropped from helicopters) and ground burning establishes a mosaic of cool burns around the project area.

The project provides employment and training opportunities while supporting Aboriginal people in returning to, remaining on and managing their country as well as the preservation and transfer of knowledge, the maintenance of Aboriginal languages and the wellbeing of traditional custodians.

  1. Bringing the bush back – Forest Re-generation NSW

Widespread land clearing in New South Wales has significantly impacted local ecosystems. This degradation and loss of plant species threatens the food and habitat on which other native species rely.

Clearing allows weeds and invasive animals to spread, affects greenhouse gas emissions and leads to soil erosion and salinity. Located in Western New South Wales, this project works with landholders to regenerate and protect native vegetation.

The area harbours a number of indigenous plant species which provide important habitat and nutrients for native wildlife. By erecting fencing and actively managing invasive species, the project avoids emissions caused by clearing and achieves key environmental and biodiversity benefits.

  1. Forest Protection, NZ

Protecting 738 hectares of Māori owned tall indigenous rainforest, the Rarakau project is adjacent to the Fiordland National Park on the very southern coastline of the South Island and located at the start of the Hump Ridge Track. The forest has a silver beech canopy, intermixed with miro and tōtara.

Parts of the forest have been logged in the past, and some of the flat terrace land was cleared for farming. The forest is now protected by a conservation covenant and is supplying New Zealand's first (and so far only) carbon offsets from tall indigenous rainforest.

The project is owned by the Rowallan Alton (Māori) Incorporation who have given up the right to harvest timber from their forest in exchange for the opportunity to receive donations from the sale of rainforest carbon offsets. The Rarakau landowners aspire to sustainable land management excellence, securing the rainforest for native wildlife and to be enjoyed by future generations.

  1. Winds of Change – Renewable Energy, India

Located in Chitradurga, this wind farm introduces clean energy to the grid which would otherwise be generated by a coal-fired power station. Wind power is clean in two ways: it produces no emissions and also avoids the local air pollutants associated with fossil fuels. Electricity availability in the region has been improved, reducing the occurrence of blackouts across the area.

The project supports national energy security and strengthens India’s rural electrification coverage. In constructing the turbines new roads were built, improving accessibility for locals. The boost in local employment by people engaged as engineers, maintenance technicians, 24-hour on-site operators and security guards also boosted local economies and village services.

  1. Lion supporting Lions – Avoided deforestation, Malawi

The Kulera Landscape REDD+ Program in Malawi protects areas of national parks and wildlife reserves by managing natural resources as an asset base – generating carbon offset revenue that improve livelihoods of local villagers, increase food security and secure vital habitat for threatened species including the African elephant, lion and several species of birds.

The Program promotes financial empowerment through supporting communities in building new sources of income through the development of non-timber forest products including honey, mushrooms, and other high value crops and small livestock animals. In order to minimise the harvest of wood from protected forests, the initiative distributes fuel-efficient woodstoves and established sustainable fuel woodlots. Finally, a system of micro-finance was created to implement solar electrification in the project area.