East African Breweries Ltd CEO Jane Karuku during the launch of the company's 2022 Sustainability Report.

East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) will use macadamia shells, coffee and rice husks as well as sugarcane bagasse to power its biomass plants in Kenya and Uganda as the beer maker edges closer to dumping the use of heavy fuels in its manufacturing process.

The Nairobi Securities Listed company has set a target of cutting carbon emissions by up to 95 percent or roughly 42,000 tonnes in carbon emissions annually as a result of Kes5.1 billion renewable energy investments.

EABL’s sites in Ruaraka, Nairobi, and Kisumu in Kenya as well as Port Bell in Kampala Uganda will be powered by sustainable raw products from agri-waste.

The company has outlined the projections in its EABL 2022 Sustainability Report that was launched by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr Chris Kiptoo.

He stated that the Environment and Forestry ministry will be facilitating enabling policies and strengthening strategic partnerships that will support sustainability efforts by the private sector.

“The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is committed to promoting and facilitating good governance in the protection, restoration, conservation, development, and management of environment and forestry resources, for equitable and sustainable development. It is encouraging to see companies such as EABL embracing sustainability and integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its operations. The level of environmental investment is significant, especially the new biomass boilers, which will considerably reduce its carbon emissions,” he said.

EABL’s report offers an overview of the processes and mechanisms the company has put in place to support our commitment to doing business the right way. It highlights the impact of its sustainability work on various stakeholders and communities.

EABL CEO Jane Karuku said that combating the effects of climate change remains a prime target for the company as the regional brewer seeks to substantially increase its share of renewable energy use in the global energy mix.

“Every other day, another research finding, news story or environmental-related disaster comes with more evidence that our planet is in a crisis. Despite these seemingly insurmountable challenges, EABL is taking the lead in developing solutions. The biomass investment demonstrates the strength of our commitment to pioneering ‘Grain to Glass Sustainability’, which is a key pillar of our Sustainability Strategy, and continues our work to provide sustainable solutions for local supply chains. It will create over 900 direct and indirect green jobs throughout our supply chain, particularly with local farmers, who we have contracted to provide the raw materials,” said Ms Karuku.

Read also: A look into what’s brewing at EABL for the next 100 years

At the moment, African countries accounts for only 2-3 percent of the world’s carbon emissions from energy and industrial resources. However, East Africa remains highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change: according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, the region is already experiencing warming of 1-1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial times.

To champion health literacy and tackle alcohol harm, EABL launched the SMASHED programme to educate young people, parents and teachers on the dangers of underage drinking, reaching 35,500 people and achieving a success rate of 137 percent, which is a reach of 48,690 people.

In an aim to champion inclusion and diversity, EABL reached 5,327 people through business and hospitality skills training programmes, a 165 percent achievement of its target of reaching 3,220 people.

The manufacturer also increased the number of women represented in its community programmes, from 54 percent in 2021, to 63 percent this year.

Towards its goal to preserve water for life, EABL completed 100 percent of its water collective action projects, reaching a total of 99,317 people with WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programmes, 311 percent above its annual target to reach 31,885 people.

EABL targets to become Net Zero in its direct operations by 2030. To this end, its sites run on 96.9 percent renewable electricity for its operations, above its target of 95 percent.

Aligned with its agenda of transitioning to a circular economy model, EABL has maintained zero tonnes of waste to landfill from its direct operations. Additionally, 100 percent of all plastics used at EABL’s sites are widely recyclable, reusable and compostable, which is higher than in 2021, where 90 percent of its plastics were widely recyclable. It is also higher than its 2022 target of 98 percent.

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