Looking For A Declaration Of Compliance?

Looking For Declarations Of Compliance? View and Download Compliance and Safety Documents Here!

Looking For Declarations Of Compliance? View and Download Compliance and Safety Documents Here!

Brewing a Better World: The Role of Environmental Sustainability in Beer

April, 2024

Share this page

With the intention of maintaining the taste and quality that consumers have come to expect from their go-to brands, the brewing industry has a reputation for being conservative. Accordingly, breweries today often use technology developed decades ago, optimizing over time to improve operational processes and efficiency, which is typically fit for purpose.


However, increasing consumer and regulatory pressure is forcing brewers to reevaluate sustainability. Research indicates that 85% of people worldwide have shifted their purchase behavior towards being more sustainable in the past five years. MEP National Network states: The food industry is likely to face increases in regulations pertaining to emissions, resource use and waste.”


By selecting the appropriate technology and leveraging digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT), breweries can address all three aspects of sustainability:


  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Sustainability
  • Economic Sustainability


The Importance of Environmental Sustainability in the Beer Industry


Environmental sustainability is a crucial aspect for the beer industry to consider. Obvious examples include reducing water and energy consumption and minimizing the accumulation of waste. The brewing industry should also consider that efficient use of raw materials is vital given the ever-growing population. Investigating eco-friendly packaging and waste management to reduce carbon emissions and minimize waste can positively impact this.


Reduction in Water Use


Water is one of the most important resources when creating beer, but a brewery cannot be sustainable without considering water conservation. Traditional brewing methods consume significant amounts of water, from the irrigation of barley crops to the cleaning of equipment. Data provided by Asahi claims that the world average water consumption per hl of beer produced is around 4.5hl. Water-saving technologies and practices help breweries minimize water waste and promote responsible water management.


Reducing Energy Consumption


Another crucial aspect of environmental sustainability in the beer industry is to reduce energy use. The Brewers Association (BA) estimates that a barrel of beer takes 50-66 kWh to produce, accounting for thermal sources, packaging, ambient heating and refrigeration. Embracing thermal and electrical energy sources will result in breweries significantly lower energy use and cost.


Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Beer Brewing


Pall’s forward-thinking engineers have designed systems with the importance of environmental sustainability in mind. Pall's innovative filtration solutions help breweries minimize their environmental impact by reducing water, energy usage and beer loss. We can help breweries with waste management strategies, reducing the need for disposal and minimizing the environmental impact. Some of the solutions we have include:


DE Replacement – PROFi Crossflow Membrane System


In the early 2000s, Pall decided to stop producing DE (diatomaceous earth) or Kieselguhr filters. In a time when DE usage was the dominating technology to filter beer, Pall focused its innovation efforts on crossflow membrane filtration for beer clarification, predicting the necessity to eliminate DE in beer production. While it is becoming a challenge to get the desired quality of DE into breweries, there are numerous other factors where replacement of DE has a positive impact on sustainability:


  • Water Consumption

In membrane filtration, there is no need for pre-and post-runs. Reduction in water consumption will be significant when combined with smaller vessel volumes (compared to DE filters for the same level of beer throughput).


  • Energy consumption

Pall has done many projects previously, replacing DE filters with the PROFi membrane filter system. The results indicate that both the consumption of electrical and thermal energy could be significantly reduced.


  • Waste Reduction

By eliminating DE powder from the beer process, brewers can eliminate the accumulation of solid waste. For breweries of industrial scale, the mass of DE waste amounts to hundreds of tons per year.


Similarly, beer loss impacts environmental sustainability as well as brewery costs. A typical industrial-scale brewery usually has around 2 – 3 % of its annual output as recoverable beer in the sedimented yeast post-fermentation. For breweries with several brands and small batches, these numbers can increase to greater than 15% — which poses significant losses and poor efficiency of raw material use. Advanced filtration technologies can mitigate these risks to improve sustainability and increase production yield.


CBS Stabilization Systems – While increasing the colloidal stability of filtered beers, CBS Stabilization systems can support:


  • Water and Cleaner Consumption: The consumption of cleaning chemicals, water and energy is significantly reduced compared to other PVPP regenerating technologies.
  • Waste Reduction. The loss rate of PVPP is negligible. With the lowest in-class PVPP loss rates, it results in the lowest in-class waste accumulation of spent PVPP.


By partnering with Pall, breweries can enhance their sustainability efforts while producing high-quality, environmentally conscious beers. Download the full paper by completing the form provided.


Want to know more about what your customers think? Pall undertook a comprehensive global survey of 3,500 beer drinkers to uncover their thoughts on sustainable brewing, purchase habits and knowledge of the brewing process. Find out more here.


Share this page

To access the full sustainability paper, complete the form below.

  • Category
  • Author
  • Sort By