Brewing a Sustainable Future: The Net Zero Journey for Breweries

Brewing a Sustainable Future: The Net Zero Journey for Breweries

Embarking on a net zero journey can be daunting and complex. But it doesn’t need to be. Since 2022, Net Zero Now's carbon accounting platform has been working with breweries of all shapes and sizes to help them decarbonise. Breweries follow a dedicated roadmap to net zero, developed by Net Zero Now in partnership with industry sustainability pioneers Konvoy and Toast, so climate and industry expertise come together to offer one affordable, easy-to-navigate package. 

What is the zero-carbon roadmap for brewing?

Breweries working with Net Zero Now can access all the tools they need to kick-start their sustainability journey and benefit from a standard against which their progress can be measured and certified. They are supported throughout their decarbonisation process by Net Zero Now’s friendly and knowledgeable team – from calculating their first accurate carbon footprint, through setting science-based reduction targets to implementing a carbon reduction plan and reporting. 

Fergus Fitzgerald, Production Director at Adnams Brewery, said, “Net Zero Now provides a solution that makes data collection and analysis manageable for any brewery. The reports helped us identify where we need to focus our efforts as we plan to get to net zero.”

What is a carbon-neutral brewery?

Carbon-neutral breweries and net zero breweries both aim to reduce their environmental impact, but they approach this goal differently and with varying degrees of ambition. A carbon-neutral brewery focuses on offsetting its carbon emissions through various means, effectively balancing out its carbon footprint.

On the other hand, a net zero brewery takes a more comprehensive and proactive approach by aiming to eliminate all its carbon emissions across its production and supply chain. This often involves implementing energy-efficient technologies, switching to renewable energy sources for direct operations, and working closely with suppliers to reduce emissions in the procurement of materials.

This has a more substantial positive impact on the environment, positions the brewery as a leader in sustainable practices, and has the potential to influence others in the industry towards more sustainable operations.

The Net Zero Brewery Initiative and Certification

Any brewery that signs up for The Net Zero Brewery Initiative can achieve ‘On The Road’ certification – a signal to their stakeholders of their commitment to sustainability. Many choose to leverage this for competitive advantage - demonstrating to customers, suppliers and peers alike that they are taking action. This certification ensures that a brewery’s efforts are recognised and can be communicated all the way through to them eventually being fully certified as ‘Net Zero’. 

Renegade is among the vanguard of breweries that are already well on the road to net zero. The Berkshire-based outfit may not be long in the tooth, but it is cutting a clear path to net zero and is keen to do what it considers to be the ‘right thing’ as it continues to expand. Renegade has got to grips with its carbon footprint and has introduced a range of measures – including an array of over 1,000 solar panels that meet approximately 40% of their electrical needs, onsite cultivation of barley and installation of a nitrogen generation plant to cut C02 dependence and output. They find great value in visualising their carbon usage using the Net Zero Now platform and seeing the impact of the changes they are making across the business. 

 A recent collaboration with BrewMan also promises to simplify and accelerate the journey to net zero for many breweries. Integration of BrewMan’s operations management software with Net Zero Now’s carbon accounting software is enabling data to be shared across the two. In the same way that BrewMan provides an innovative solution to take the heavy lifting out of operations management, Net Zero Now can reduce the burden of sustainability management, and bringing the two platforms together is a massive step forward in catalysing decarbonisation among many breweries.

‍Sam Williams, Commercial Director at BrewMan, said: "Our users care about the environmental impact of their businesses, and their customers want to be empowered to make environmentally conscious decisions. This is why we are delighted to work with Net Zero Now in offering BrewMan users a simple way to calculate their carbon footprint and find out how they can work to improve it."

Partnerships across the brewing industry are helping to accelerate its Net Zero progress significantly, according to Jack Sowler, Business Development Executive at Net Zero Now. “Whether it’s in developing our bespoke net zero roadmaps for breweries or through innovative partnerships that take away some of the burdens of moving toward net zero, the collaboration between Net Zero Now and key industry players is driving positive change. We might be climate experts, but we’re not, perhaps to our dismay, expert brewers. We need to constantly tap into the expertise available in the sector to ensure that we make the journey to net zero as smooth, affordable and accessible as it can possibly be.” 

If you’re a brewery considering embarking on a net zero future, visit to take a look at the Net Zero Brewery Initiative or book a walk-through of the Net Zero Now platform with one of our friendly experts. To quote Martin Kelly, Renegade’s Production Director, “Every small change that the brewers can make and support through their supply chain will all add up & have a demonstrable effect for the climate, the country and for the world.” Be and brew that change.

Find out exactly how Renegade and co. are taking proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact, download Net Zero Now’s Brewery protocol.  

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