Carlsberg Group cuts carbon by 30% since 2015 in good sustainability progress

The Carlsberg Group reported solid progress towards the sustainability targets of its Together Towards ZERO programme, emphasising the importance of collaboration with local partners and global experts across the value chain.

In 2019, the Group achieved a 30% reduction in relative carbon emissions at its breweries since 2015 (13% since 2018), with 56% of electricity from renewable sources and a total of five carbon-neutral sites running on renewable energy only. The Group also delivered a 12% reduction in relative water consumption since 2015 and announced a major investment in water-recycling technology at its Danish brewery.


  • Carbon reductions: 30% reduction in relative and 25% reduction in absolute carbon emissions at breweries since 2015. This was achieved through an ongoing efficiency programme, using 56% renewable electricity and cutting coal usage by 89% by weight since 2015.
  • Electric deliveries: 20 fully electric 26-tonne trucks will be delivered to Carlsberg’s Swiss company, Feldschlösschen, in 2020 with a view to operating from the brewery’s 15 logistics sites. This initiative shows that heavy-duty electric trucks are a commercial and operational reality.
  • Packaging innovation: Advanced innovative packaging solutions, including roll-out of the plastic-reducing Snap Pack multipack solution, recycled shrink film and the Group’s first 100% recycled PET bottle. Looking to the future, two research prototypes of the world’s first “paper” beer bottle – the Green Fibre Bottle – were unveiled in partnership with Paboco (the paper bottle company).
  • Water efficiency: 12% reduction in relative water consumption since 2015. Announced investment in a total water-recycling plant at Fredericia brewery, Denmark, initiated through a public-private partnership, which will reduce average water consumption at the brewery from 2.9 hl of water per hl of beer to 1.4 hl/hl and cut energy consumption by 10%.
  • Safety training: 44% reduction in the lost-time accident rate since 2015, achieved by engaging more people in health & safety initiatives, and through tailored training programmes in safety leadership, high-hazard activities and safe driving with expert partners, such as RMS Switzerland, 3M and professional driving schools.
  • Consumer choice: 38% volume growth in alcohol-free brews since 2015, with an increased range and the introduction of alcohol-free beer on draught, important developments towards achieving the target of always offering consumers an alcohol-free option.

Cees 't Hart, CEO, Carlsberg Group:
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved since launching Together Towards ZERO. By working with leading global experts and strong local partners, we’ve reduced relative carbon emissions by 30% and water usage by 12% since 2015. Collaboration will become even more important as we approach our 2030 ambitions.
“Nobody can solve the sustainability challenges the world faces alone. That’s why we called our programme ‘Together’ Towards ZERO. By working in partnerships, we’re able to make faster progress and deliver change that would otherwise not be possible.”

About sustainability in the Carlsberg Group

Launched in 2017, Together Towards ZERO is rooted in Carlsberg’s purpose and forms part of the company’s SAIL’22 strategy. It consists of four major ambitions: ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking and a ZERO accidents culture. The programme was developed in partnership with leading experts, including the Carbon Trust and WWF, and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The carbon targets have been approved in line with Science Based Targets Initiative and the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement.

Learn more about the Carlsberg Group’s sustainability work:


Media Relations:   Anders Bering +45 4179 1217             Kasper Elbjørn +45 4179 1216
Investor Relations: Peter Kondrup +45 3327 1221         Iben Steiness +45 3327 1232

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Detailed 2019 results: 

ZERO carbon footprint: As it works towards eliminating carbon emissions at its breweries and cutting its value-chain carbon footprint by 30% by 2030, the Carlsberg Group achieved:

  • 13% reduction in relative carbon emissions compared with 2018 (30% since 2015).
  • 9% reduction in absolute carbon emissions compared with 2018 (25% since 2015).
  • 11pp reduction in coal usage by weight compared with 2018 (89% since 2015), with 13 sites eliminating coal since 2017. The Group plans to convert the remaining two coal-fuelled sites in India and Poland during 2020.
  • 56% of electricity (+10pp since 2018) and 24% of total energy (+4pp since 2018) at the Carlsberg Group’s breweries now comes from renewable sources.
  • 100% of electricity from renewable sources used at its 29 breweries in Western Europe through solar installations and certificates.
  • Carbon-reducing partnerships formed with ten suppliers to reduce shared carbon footprint across packaging, ingredients and refrigeration.
  • 3 billion returnable glass bottles returned, washed and refilled.
  • Continued roll-out of the plastic-reducing Snap Pack multipack solution, recycled shrink wrap and recycled content in PET bottles, such as the Imsdal water brand in Norway, which is sold in 100% recycled PET bottles.
  • Increased usage of reusable cups at festivals in Denmark, Latvia, Norway and other countries, saving 1 million one-way cups in Denmark alone.

ZERO water waste: In its efforts to virtually eliminate water waste at its breweries by cutting water consumption by 50% by 2030, the Carlsberg Group achieved:

  • 3% reduction in relative water consumption since 2018 (12% since 2015). Faster change is needed to meet the 2022 target of reducing water usage at its breweries by 25%.
  • Revised water risk assessment in collaboration with WWF, which will be integrated into working plans in 2020.
  • 57 wastewater treatment plants operating across the Carlsberg Group.
  • Commitment to invest in a total water-recycling plant at Fredericia brewery, Denmark, which will reduce the brewery’s water usage for beer from 2.9 hl/hl to 1.4 hl/hl.

ZERO irresponsible drinking: As it works to enable choice through the availability of alcohol-free brews, inform positive drinking choices by providing more information to consumers and encourage responsible choices through dialogue and engagement, the Group achieved:

  • 7% volume growth in alcohol-free brews (38% since 2015).
  • 90% of global beer volumes carried ingredient information on packaging. 65% contained nutritional information.
  • 57 million people in locally relevant responsible drinking activations for Global Beer Responsibility Day.

ZERO accidents culture: Working to build a ZERO accidents culture across the business, the Carlsberg Group achieved:

  • 15% reduction in the lost-time accident rate since 2018 (44% since 2015).
  • 60% increase in observations and near misses reported by employees since 2018.
  • 2,000 employees in Asia received practical two-wheeler safety training.
  • 5,500 people leaders (+95%) trained in Safety Leadership programme, one year ahead of plan.

Economic and social contribution

  • 40,000+ people directly employed across the Group.
  • 2 million people estimated to be employed through indirect and induced employment.
  • Total tax contribution of DKK 44bn.
  • This contribution to society is strengthened by the Group’s main shareholder, the Carlsberg Foundation, which granted around DKK 689m for scientific, cultural and societal activities in 2019.


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