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.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.