MillerCoors took a big leap in its goal to increase sustainability last year, making its Milwaukee brewery and corporate offices landfill-free as of December 2014.
The move to waste-free means the company eliminated 65 tons of waste—and 1,000 trash bags at its corporate offices alone—that was previously sent to the landfill each week from the Milwaukee campus. The brewery also reduced its waste by 19 percent, now generating just 15 tons of waste per month. The residual waste is sent to a waste-to-energy facility in Wisconsin, which uses that waste to produce 20 percent of the area’s electricity.
“We’re proud to achieve landfill-free status in the place we’ve called home for more than 160 years,” says Fernando Palacios, executive vice president and chief integrated supply chain officer. “MillerCoors remains committed to protecting local resources, lessening our impact on the environment and being a good neighbor by continuing to look for ways we can brew beer more sustainably, including eliminating waste sent to landfills.”
The Milwaukee campus achieved its landfill-free goal through the use of a centralized compactor and color-coded recycling container system, says Joan Meyer, environmental engineer at the Milwaukee Brewery.
“Our Green Team played a big role in our success. The team is led by brewery employees who are really passionate about achieving landfill-free status,” says Meyer. “We learned from best practices at other MillerCoors breweries. Now it’s our turn to help the next facility.”
MillerCoors began its journey to landfill-free in 2008, and the company now reuses or recycles 100 percent of its waste at seven of its eight major breweries. Company-wide, the brewery reduced its waste by more than 448 tons in 2014, down 84 percent since 2008. MillerCoors says it hopes to achieve landfill-free status all of its major facilities across the U.S. by 2020.
“As we look ahead to 2020, we are focused on building upon our heritage to brew a sustainable future,” says Kim Marotta, MillerCoors director of sustainability. “We’ve updated our sustainability strategy to reflect our past successes and to challenge ourselves in new ways. In MillerCoors 2015 Sustainability Report, we highlight how we’re embedding environmental stewardship across our operations, both inside our breweries and throughout our supply chain.”
MillerCoors outlined its landfill-free achievements, plus its other goals in its 2015 sustainability report. Besides going waste-free, the company also reduced water usage across its breweries by 15 percent, reduced it total energy use by 15 percent, and reduced its packaging by 2 percent.