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Cutting waste, valuing water

Many of our environmental targets will be met through a combination of new technology and industry-leading best practice. A major investment in our Nigerian operations has significantly reduced the amount of waste we send to landfill, and improved our use of water.

Ogba - Kieselguhr - Waste

The Guinness made at our brewery in Ogba, Nigeria, is enjoyed by millions of consumers across Africa. This year we invested heavily in technology, processes and practices at Ogba, changing the materials we use, or the way we use them, to help meet our ambitious global target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2015.

Traditionally, beer has been filtered using kieselguhr, a sedimentary rock. But kieselguhr is hard to dispose of, contributing in the past to both landfill and water pollution, as measured in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). By fitting a new membrane filtration system at Ogba, we have reduced the use of kieselguhr to almost nil, reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill by 500 tonnes a year, while contributing to a reduction in the BOD pollutants in our wastewater discharge.

We have also been able to reduce both landfill and BOD by finding an innovative way of dealing with some of the other waste created by brewing – spent grains and yeast. A valuable source of organic matter, these are now being used by local farmers as animal feedstock or compost.

And Ogba is a good example of the way that improvements against a range of environmental targets can often be achieved in one investment drive. By improving the way that we recover the water used in our clean-in-place (CiP) process, which cleans the pipes and equipment we use in brewing, we also saved 45,000m3 of water this year.