AB InBev launches innovation accelerator for green startups
Belgium-based beverage producer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest drinks manufacturer in the world, has launched a new innovation programme which is inviting startups to join.
The programme, entitled the 100+ Accelerator scheme, aims to solve more than 100 sustainability challenges over the next seven years as part of the business’ 2025 sustainability initiative.
Startups can apply to be part of the scheme by offering ideas to solve problems around water stewardship, farmer productivity, responsible sourcing and green logistics. These are all elements of the company’s 2025 Sustainability Goals which include a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% against a 2017 baseline.
Zoleka Lisa, Procurement Director for Capabilities and Sustainability, told Business Chief this month: “Each of our breweries have mapped out where water use can be improved. Globally, we have set a target of achieving a water use ratio of 2.8hl/hl by 2025.”
In December, AB InBev outlined its sustainability goals in Africa to Business Chief, with Procurement and Sustainability Vice President David Hauxwell stating: “We realise that to be a sustainable, future-focussed business, the resources, health and wealth of the communities in which we operate are vital.”
David Grant, Head of Sustainability for the company’s Africa business, added: “Sustainability is definitely one of the core values of our business. It’s evident in a number of ways - we have grounded strategies surrounding entrepreneurial growth and development, water stewardship, circular economy and our renewable energy drive.”
The 100+ Accelerator programme promises to bring fresh ideas to the company’s commitment. Maisie Devine, Global Director of the initiative, explains: “Today’s global sustainability challenges provide us with some of the greatest opportunities for development and innovation.
“We want to empower driven and committed entrepreneurs who are solving problems in their own communities. The 100+ Accelerator will draw on our company’s entrepreneurial spirit and our constant drive to deliver faster, better results.”
Currently, AB InBev owns a plethora of both global and local brands around the world including Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois and has a presence in over 150 markets.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.