We're committed to reducing and reusing whatever we can – and eliminating waste to landfill.
Eliminating waste sent to landfill from our operations entirely by 2015 remains a challenging target. But, after a setback in 2011, we are back on track, with a reduction of 20.5% this year and an overall reduction of 56.8% against a 2007 baseline.
This amounted to 94.8% of our total waste being reused or recycled in 2012. In terms of hazardous waste, 0.9% was disposed of to landfill or recycled.
Total weight of waste by type and disposal in 2012 (tonnes)
| Region || Total waste reused or recycled || Total waste to landfill || Total waste
|Latin America and Caribbean
|Waste to landfill (tonnes)
Total waste to landfill by year (tonnes)
Total waste to landfill by year, by region (tonnes)
| Region || 2007 || 2010 || 2011 || 2012
|Latin America and Caribbean
Because waste is generally a localised issue, the way that we improve our waste-handling varies significantly from site to site, and region to region. But globally, we are encouraging increased awareness and better practices, which, combined with a willingness to make the best use of available local infrastructure, are helping us meet our target.
We are proud of the fact that 16 of our sites in Scotland, for example, sent zero waste to landfill this year – taking the number of sites in this category to 24 globally. We have also made significant reductions of waste to landfill across our brewing operations in in Africa. In particular, waste to landfill has been halved at our operations in Aba and Benin City in Nigeria, with considerable progress at other locations throughout the region.
Below are some of the ways in which we have worked towards our target.
The primary way that we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill is reducing the materials we use in the first place. For example, at our brewery in Ogba, Nigeria, we eliminated waste kieselguhr by using an alternative filtration system.
Finding agricultural uses for waste
Some material previously sent to landfill can be put to good use by farmers. At our Aba brewing facility in Nigeria, a project to make spent grains and yeast available to farmers reduced waste to landfill from this site by over 50% in 2012.
At our maltings facility in Kenya, we have begun composting wet grain waste within the site, which has reduced waste to landfill by 32 tonnes.
Recycling packaging and other materials
We seek to ensure that as much material as possible is recycled. At our Tusker brewery in Kenya, initiatives including training for technical operators and contractors in waste segregation, and the recycling of polyethylene bags and cartons from the packaging department, have contributed to a reduction of waste to landfill of 15%. And at our Isipingo blending and packaging site in South Africa, 13 tonnes have been diverted from landfill by recycling paper and packaging straps.
Recovering waste for energy
Where materials cannot be recycled, as a last resort we explore their potential for energy recovery through incineration. In some areas, we didn’t send any waste for use as energy, but where this is the only feasible option, we work with trusted partners using advanced technology to minimise the impact of converting waste to energy.
Types of waste
Our operations generate both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
The majority of our waste is non-hazardous and this includes: organic matter, like yeast, remaining from the brewing and distillation processes; kieselguhr, which is a soft rock used for filtration; and the pulped labels from the bottles which we recycle. Other waste streams include damaged packaging, sludge from wastewater treatment, boiler ash, and office waste.
Hazardous wastes, including oils, acids, and bases, are used subject to government regulations and environmental consents, and are disposed of through specialist contractors. Last year, a total of 71 tonnes of hazardous waste from 14 sites went to landfill – a figure we are seeking to reduce.
We are exploring ways to reuse or recycle all of our waste streams – often in ways that bring benefits to our business, the environment, or local communities.