MillerCoors recently released its 2010 Sustainable Development Report, which highlights the company’s progress towards sustainability goals made during the past year. The report focuses on five main areas: Alcohol Responsibility, Environmental Sustainability, Sustainable Supply Chain, People and Communities, and Ethics and Transparency.

The company’s primary environmental goals focus on water stewardship, energy use, packaging sustainability and waste management. Ultimately, MillerCoors is working towards becoming a zero waste company. In 2009, two of the company’s breweries achieved this zero waste goal: Trenton, Ohio, and Elkton, Va. Overall, the company was able to reduce its waste sent to landfills by 20 percent.

The original goal was to reduce landfill waste by 15 percent by 2015, and MillerCoors reached this goal six years early. The company is now reassessing its waste reduction goals and will set a new, more aggressive target by 2015. MillerCoors also plans to achieve zero landfill waste at one additional brewery in the coming years.

In the energy realm, MillerCoors is focused on reducing its total energy use by 15 percent by 2015. This will be achieved, in part, by focusing on renewable energy and will help the company reduce its overall carbon footprint. In 2009, the company was able to reduce its energy consumption by 3.6 percent per barrel of beer manufactured, well on the way to achieving the 2015 goal.

While building energy efficiency will reduce the company’s carbon footprint, MillerCoors is also looking at its fleet. When Miller and Coors joined forces, beer production was reconfigured and so delivery miles were reduced significantly. In just one example, a beer that was produced in two breweries is now made in eight. This led to a reduction of 770 miles traveled for each of the 3,000 shipments of this beer alone.

Like most other companies operating in today’s eco-minded world, MillerCoors is also looking at the sustainability of its supply chain. An entire section of the company’s 2010 Sustainable Development Report focuses solely on the supply chain. In 2009, the company completed a trial of winter barley. Although barley is not typically grown in the winter, a winter-grown crop could lead to a savings of 5 million gallons of water and 3,000 kilowatts of electricity when compared to peak-season grown crop.

The company also works with hop farmers who keep sustainable farming practices in mind. During the past year MillerCoors and its hop suppliers have reduced water usage by increasing drip irrigation systems and reduced waste by recycling waste into compost or cattle feed.

These are just a few of the many sustainability milestones that MillerCoors reached in 2009. For more information, download the detailed report: Great Beer, Great Responsibility: MillerCoors 2010 Sustainable Development Report.

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