A greener future is brewing: SABMiller plans to phase out HFC fridges by 2020

By Elke Milner, Jul 29, 2014, 15:39 2 minute reading

In an effort to halve its carbon footprint, the world’s second largest brewing company, SABMiller has vowed to cease purchases of HFC fridges after 2020. The brewing company has already launched several initiatives aimed at reducing emissions, including the introduction of HFC-free refrigeration units in Colombia and Poland.

SABMiller, a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and the world’s second largest brewing company, has announced it will be stepping up its game to reduce its impact on climate change. The London-headquartered brewer said earlier this month that it aims to achieve a 25% reduction in its refrigeration carbon footprint by ceasing purchases of new HFC-cooled fridges after 2020.
Efforts to reduce refrigeration carbon footprint will continue to be explored
SABMiller is already investing in energy saving devices and LED lighting in many markets. In 2009, the company invested in a number of Fogel fridges equipped with hydrocarbon refrigerant propane (R290), including for Bavaria in Colombia. Last year, the brewer’s Polish business Kompania Piwowarska bought 8,000 new hydrocarbon fridges for its retail network. In Europe, more than 75% of new SABMiller fridges are already operating with hydrocarbons refrigerants, and the company is exploring the feasibility of increasing this number. 
Andre Fourie, SABMiller’s Senior Manager Environmental Value told Cooling Post that the company’s commitment not to purchase any new fridges containing HFCs by 2020 is based on global operations, mostly in developing markets. He noted though, that not all markets in Africa, Latin America or Asia have the servicing infrastructure to support hydrocarbons cooling at this time, but that the company is working to shape this agenda and move towards natural refrigerants where technically feasible. 
Better late than never – 5 years later than Consumer Goods Forum pledge
SABMiller is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the members of which have committed to eliminating HFC-based refrigeration and moving toward the use of natural refrigerants as of 2015. SABMiller, however, is committing to phase out new HFC fridges by 2020, five years after the Consumer Goods Forum pledge. What is more, companies like Unilever and The Coca Cola Company, also members of the Consumer Goods Forum, have already made great strides in phasing out the use of HFCs in their new fridges, with the exception of markets where the use of hydrocarbons is not yet technically feasible (which do not include Europe).
Thus, while the brewer is taking steps in the right direction, SABMiller’s commitment lags behind other Consumer Goods Forum members, some of which it even has partnerships with - SABMiller is the world’s largest bottler of Coca Cola’s products.


By Elke Milner

Jul 29, 2014, 15:39

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below