Ursus Breweries invests in energy recovery facility in Buzău

Alina Oprea
 Ursus Breweries, the largest beer producer in Romania, has made an investment of €2 million in an installation that uses energy efficiency technologies for the recovery of thermal energy from burnt gases, at the brewery in Buzău. The plant is a special project in the Asahi group and is part of the series of sustainability investments in the strategy of Ursus Breweries. The technology involves the recovery of energy from the burnt gases produced in the thermal plant of the brewery.

To identify the technical solution, Ursus Breweries collaborated with sustainability experts from Asahi Europe & International and suppliers with relevant international expertise.

By implementing the thermal energy recovery system, it is estimated that the consumption of natural gas will decrease by approximately 18% and thus, implicitly, the decrease in the related carbon dioxide emissions.

"As a result of the investments made so far, the carbon emissions of Ursus Breweries decreased, in 2022, to 50% compared to the reference year 2019. And we are not stopping here: the investment in Buzău was successfully completed in the summer of this year and represents a step forward on the path we have taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in our factories to zero. Thanks to this investment, we will be able to reduce natural gas consumption by 18% as well as our carbon footprint", said Robert Uzună, Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Ursus Breweries.

Ursus Breweries states that it constantly runs sustainability projects with six major objectives and directions of intervention: reducing carbon dioxide emissions, reducing water consumption, using raw materials from sustainable sources, using reusable and recyclable packaging, supporting inclusion and well-being, as well as the promotion of responsible alcohol consumption.

"The investment at the factory in Buzău is just one of the energy consumption reduction projects carried out by Ursus Breweries. All of the company's sustainability projects are described in the seventh and latest Sustainable Development Report for the period 2021-2022", the company mentions.

 Ursus Breweries made contributions of RON 567 million (€113.4 million) to the state budget in 2022, positioning us as a trusted partner of the authorities.

Carbon emissions of Ursus Breweries decreased in 2022 to 50% compared to the reference year 2019. To decrease emissions, Ursus Breweries installed consumption reduction equipment such as LED lighting, automated processes, replaced natural gas in certain processes with biogas produced in industrial wastewater treatment plants, recovered thermal energy from various processes with the help of a new plant, replaced condensate recovery plants with performance-enhanced variants.

Ursus Breweries completed the purchase of electric forklifts instead of LPG-powered ones and started the purchase of vehicles with lower carbon emissions. It also has in progress a plan to gradually replace refrigerators with the aim of increasing energy efficiency, during 2021 and 2022, 4,800 refrigerators with low energy performance will be replaced.

In addition, in 2022 Ursus Breweries purchased 100% electricity produced from renewable sources for factories.

More than half of the water used in the factories in Buzău, Brașov, and Timișoara comes from their own wells and each brewery has its own consumption targets. We already have a high performance in terms of water consumption in the brewing industry, and Ursus Breweries' goal is to reduce the average consumption from 2.77 liters in 2022 to 2.75 liters of water per liter of beer bottled by in 2025. In addition, own water treatment plants are used before it enter the internal circuit, and waste water is treated in own treatment plants.

Ursus Breweries has reduced the amount of materials used in packaging, with 24% less plastic being used compared to the reference year 2019. Also, 100% recycled material is used for the boxes and cardboard trays of the cans. The objective is for the company to use primary and secondary packaging that can be reused or recycled and that contains at least 50% recycled material by 2030.

The company's target is that, by 2030, 20% of the portfolio will consist of alcohol-free products.

Ursus Breweries is the largest beer producer in Romania, being the market leader for 8 years. The brands in the Ursus Breweries portfolio are URSUS, Timisoreana, Ciucaș, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Kozel, Azuga, Pilsner Urquell, and Asahi Super Dry. Currently, Ursus Breweries owns 3 breweries: in Brașov, Buzău, and Timișoara and a mini-production facility in Cluj-Napoca. Ursus Breweries is part of Asahi Europe & International.

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