This week, MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company, released its corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, which discusses how water efficiency is a huge focus for the beer brewing company’s long term sustainability and strategy agendas.

Just for a quick review, the company’s water stewardship strategy has five main pillars:

1.       Increasing water efficiency, as measured by the amount of water required to produce a barrel of beer.  Currently that ratio is down to 4.1 to 1, and three of its eight large US breweries met or are near the company’s 2015 water target ratio of 3.5 to 1.

2.       Implementing strong environmental management systems and minimizing the impacts from its breweries, such as wastewater effluent.

3.       Assessing the watersheds for its breweries, as this has a huge impact on local stakeholder engagement.

4.       Understanding its water “footprint” -- how, when, and where water is used throughout the company’s business and supply chain.

5.       Directing and supporting community investments with others toward water stewardship.

Some ways in which MillerCoors is focusing on water efficiency is through:

o   Reusing pasteurizer water, which could save up to 200 million gallons of water annually at a Milwaukee brewery (pictured above left, click to expand).

o   Using ionic air rinser technology to clean new aluminum cans prior to filling them with beer rather than using water. The ionized air neutralizes the charge on the cans as they pass through the rinser, which causes any dust particles to drop off.

o   Expanding the use of non-water lubricant on packaging lines to help all those bottles and cans slide down those long conveyor belts.

Here is what one executive has to say:

“Water is a top priority for MillerCoors business, and we’re taking the steps now to manage water efficiently within our brewery operations, with our suppliers and throughout the entire agricultural supply chain to ensure we have access to it in the future,” said MillerCoors Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Kim Marotta. “It’s incredibly important to our business -- beer begins and ends with water.”

Again, you can review the report here.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.