Environmental responsibility

The BBPA and its members are serious about addressing any issues that have an adverse effect on our environment. We work on a range of areas to improve efficiencies and to help ensure a sustainable future for all.

  • BBPA launches free cross-industry platform to destroy 70 million pints of spoilt beer and re-claim millions in duty

    03 June 2020

    Pubs, bars, hotels and other businesses can pre-register to use platform at returnyourbeer.co.uk from today The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade body representing Britain’s brewers and pubs has today launched a cross-industry platform to enable participating brewers to manage the safe destruction of their brands in pubs and for the millions of pounds in excise duty from unsalable beer to be reclaimed and the appropriate and agreed recompense passed back to licensees. Licensees with spoilt beer and cider in their cellars can access the platform by visiting www.ReturnYourBeer.co.uk via mobile, tablet or computer and creating a profile. Once their profile has been created they can follow guidance and instructions on the platform to seek permission from the brand owner to destroy their beer and cider in an environmentally friendly manner in compliance with local water authorities. Licensees can also record destruction through the platform enabling duty to be claimed back by brewers, who will then agree the means of reimbursing the customer By using the platform, businesses such as pubs, hotels, bars and clubs will be able to destroy draught beer and cider that has become spoilt as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and free up space for fresh deliveries, enabling them to restock and get cellars ready for re-opening. Brewers who have signed-up to the platform to list their brands and suppliers include Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, Heineken, Molson Coors, Carlsberg, Asahi and Marstons, C&C (excluding Tennants), St. Austell, Adnams, Timothy Taylor, Innis & Gunn, Black Sheep and JW Lees. More brewers are expected to join the platform, making it even easier for licensees to help clear their cellars and re-stock in preparation for re-opening. Originally created and developed as a concept by Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, the site has been handed over and further developed as a wider industry platform by a BBPA steering group composed of brewers and pub operators. From launch, the site will be administered on behalf of the sector by the British Beer & Pub Association. Whilst the site has been developed for broad use across the sector, licensees who run a Managed or Leased & Tenanted pub are reminded of the need to check with their pub operator first before attempting to use the site to clarify whether an alternative approach is preferred. As many as 70 million pints of British beer from UK pubs will have to be destroyed after they were forced to shut due to COVID-19. Being able to reclaim excise duty on this beer will be worth tens of millions of pounds to the on-trade. Pubs were amongst the very first businesses to be shut down due to COVID-19 in the UK, having been ordered to shut on March 20th. They will not open until 4th July at the earliest according to the Government’s recently published roadmap. That time period will mean that much of the beer left in storage in pubs will be spoiled or out-of-date by the time they re-open. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We’re encouraging businesses with spoilt beer they need to destroy to visit www.ReturnYourBeer.co.uk and pre-register. The platform will provide guidance and instructions necessary to destroy beer, as well as crucially recording that destruction to enable duty to be claimed back on it. We estimate this could be worth tens of millions of pounds of credit flowing back to pubs and the wider on-trade. Crucial at this hugely challenging time. “This cross-industry platform is free to use and should help businesses of all shapes and sizes who serve draught beer as they re-stock and re-fresh ahead of re-opening.”     Frequently Asked Questions Why have you created this website ? In order to prepare Britain’s pubs for Summer re-opening it is vital that out of date beer is safely disposed of to enable restocking of pub cellars with fresh beer ready for sale. As duty is already paid by the brewer on the beer held in pubs, HMRC demand transparency over the process of disposal and the volumes of beer involved before brewers can reclaim the duty on unsold stock and re-credit customers. This web tool enables licensees to securely record the volumes of beer in full and broached (part-sold) containers held in their cellars and communicate these to brewers in a cost effective way.   What do the licencees have to do ? We are urging licensees to pre-register via the returnyourbeer.co.uk website to enable brewers to begin the process of verification required before beer disposal can be authorised. Once verification is agreed licensees will be taken through a step by step process to safely record volumes of beer disposed of according to BBPA-endorsed processes. HMRC have agreed with BBPA that photographic evidence supplied by the licensees will be acceptable and the website enables the publican to upload these images to verify the volumes of stock destroyed and the process undertaken to conform with Environment Agency and local Water company consents.   What will the brewers do with this data ? The data will be cross-checked with the brewery to ensure the volumes correspond with volumes of beer sold to customers. The data will remain confidential to the brewers involved and will only be used by the brewers to calculate duty reclaims from HMRC (as agreed) and to enable either a re-credit of the duty amount or like-for-like replacement of stock at no additional cost depending on the individual brewer policy.   How many pubs will be registering ? Initially we anticipate 20,000 free trade pubs with cellars would make use of the website as well as other parts of the licensed trade, including multiple operators, stocking draught beer.   How many brewers brands are included within the scheme ? All of the top selling beer brand owners are supporting this initiative on launch and along with some regional brewers, we are envisaging that brewers producing c.90% of unsold draught beer remaining in pubs will be part of the BBPA scheme. The benefit of the website will be especially felt by outlets and pub businesses with multiple lines of different brewers’ brands held in their cellars as it provides a single point of entry of data aimed at a number of suppliers.   Why can’t the beer just be poured down the drains or returned to the Breweries ? The beer volumes involved would present challenges for the water supply if the disposal is not carefully managed in a phased and controlled way. The weight of full containers in cellars present a significant manual handling risk, as well as particular logistical and safety challenge during this period.  Brewers would therefore prefer the kegs and casks to be emptied prior to their collection where possible.   Who is paying for the website ? The start-up costs and ongoing maintenance of returnyourbeer.co.uk are being met by the participating brewers.

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  • British brewers decrease their CO2 emissions by 42%

    21 August 2019

    Total CO2 emissions from the UK’s brewing industry have fallen by 42% in the last decade (2008 to 2018) – a reduction of 202,952 tonnes – according to new research conducted by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The research also found that the energy used to brew a pint of beer in the UK is now 20% less than it was in 2008. The water required to brew one hectolitre of beer has also reduced to an average of just 3.5 hectolitres. Separate data from the Environment Agency acquired by the BBPA also found that UK breweries now recover and re-use 98% of their waste.[1] The research, published in a new report by the BBPA, called ‘Brewing Green: A Greener Future for British Beer & Pubs’, comes as the UK’s brewing and pub sectors begin setting their next sustainability targets to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 100% of pub operators surveyed by the BBPA for the report stated that reducing food waste and improving energy efficiency was important or very important to them. When it came to food waste, all pubs surveyed said they had trained staff on how to reduce food waste, with 86% now offering smaller portion sizes to customers to help further reduce waste. When it came to improving energy efficiency, 83% of pub operators surveyed said they used insulated cellars in their pubs to reduce energy consumption. 71% also said they had smart meters installed in their pubs. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Britain’s brewing and pub sectors are amongst the oldest and most revered around the world. To maintain this reputation, we must brew our beer and serve our pub-goers in a sustainable way. “From reducing emissions to lowering waste, Britain’s breweries and pubs are determined to be world leaders in environmental sustainability and meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”   Kristin Wolfe, Legal & Corporate Affairs Director at Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “As brewers we have an important role to play in helping to create a more sustainable future. We have always taken seriously our responsibility to brew sustainably and Our Beer Print 2025 sustainability targets are a testament to that commitment. We recently updated these targets with our new global packaging goals to reduce plastic in our packaging, which include our pledge in the UK to remove plastic from the packaging of our Carling and Coors Light brands by April 2021. “We have to take a truly comprehensive and ambitious approach to sustainability. We’re committing to achieving science-based targets to lower absolute carbon emissions by 50% within our own operations and by 20% across our value chain by 2025, which are aggressive enough to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway and the Paris Climate Agreement.”   David Paterson, Corporate Affairs Director, HEINEKEN, said: “We embed sustainability across our entire value chain at HEINEKEN, from growing the barley and apples that go into our beers and ciders, to working with our customers and licensees to serve a great quality pint as sustainably as possible. We’re working hard to reduce CO2, water and single use plastics in our own business. However, we’re also passionate about helping our customers to improve their sustainability and that’s where SmartDispense is making a real impact for licensees. In five years, its saved 72m pints of water and 207 tonnes of CO2, whilst being a part of the original closed loop system - serving a pint from a keg into a glass.”   Paula Lindenberg, UK President, Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I, said: “Taking a sustainable approach to brewing is critical for the future of our sector. That’s why sustainability is not just a part of our business – it is our business. “At Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, sustainability is embedded across everything we do; from our farmers to our packaging, supply chain and operations. At our breweries, our investment in green technology has helped us to reduce our energy usage by 10% over the past year, while water consumption is down 13% compared to five years ago. “We strive to help make the world a better place and we understand that it starts with us.”    Dr Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams, said: “Sustainability has been in our DNA for decades and is ingrained in everything we do. As one of the most energy efficient breweries and distilleries in the UK, we enjoy learning from others and also sharing our sustainability stories to educate and inspire both ourselves and others to make changes. The trust of our customers, in what we do and how we do it, means so much. Our sustainability stories are real, worthwhile and all about doing the right thing.”   Simon Townsend, Ei Group Chief Executive, said: “As the UK’s largest pub company, becoming a greener business is of fundamental importance to us and we have introduced a number of tailored initiatives across our managed and leased and tenanted divisions to reduce our environmental impact. “As consumer focus on sustainable purchasing and responsible business increases, so does our continual pursuit of reducing energy consumption across our estate through adopting forward-thinking green initiatives. These include offering electric car charging points in pub car parks and targeted upgrades to heating and cooling equipment in pubs.”   [1] Environment Agency data, provided by individual pub operators to the Environment Agency

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