Steinlager is now carbon zero: ‘10% of New Zealand’s beer market has gone carbon zero overnight’

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Lion New Zealand will also go carbon zero in January. Pic:getty/nathalienasrallah
Lion New Zealand will also go carbon zero in January. Pic:getty/nathalienasrallah

Related tags Lion Beer Sustainability New zealand

Steinlager has become New Zealand’s first major carbon zero beer brand: with Lion New Zealand aiming for carbon zero certification across its wider business in January 2021.

The Kiwi beer represents almost 10% of New Zealand’s beer market. After starting the certification process with sustainable beer brand The Fermentist in 2019 (which is now carbon zero across the whole portfolio) Lion has been applying these learnings at scale with Steinlager, which has now obtained Toitū certification.

Each step in the product life cycle has seen emissions reduced or offset, from growing the hops and barley, making the beer at the brewery, to bottles, caps, packaging and transport, right down to the length of time the beer spends in a consumer’s fridge.

Producing a dozen Steinlager bottles (as per a standard pack) emits 3.2 kg of CO2​e, which is the equivalent of driving 13 km in a Toyota Hilux or having a BBQ on full flame for 1.2 hours. This is now all being offset, with ongoing reduction efforts in place.

Steinlager partnered with certification organisation Toitū to audit its greenhouse gas emissions and put in place strategies to manage and reduce the footprint each year. This builds on work already undertaken at Lion’s The Pride brewery in Auckland to improve production efficiency such as recycling glycol, CO2​ and growing yeast.

Any step in the product’s life cycle that cannot be reduced is mitigated through the two offsetting initiatives: a forest protection regeneration project in the South Island and a renewable energy farm in India. However, Lion says carbon offsetting happens only after working with suppliers and customers to drive down carbon emissions as much as possible.

Geoff Kidd, Senior Brand Manager for Steinlager, said:  “By becoming carbon neutral, Steinlager is supporting the New Zealand Government’s goal of becoming net zero by 2050. We recognise our place in Kiwi culture and are committed to doing our part to reduce our nations carbon footprint. The Steinlager team have worked hard to get to this point; and will continue to take further action to reduce our impact on the climate.”​ 

Lion New Zealand intends to be certified carbon zero across its business from January 2021. This organisational certification will see all of Lion’s manufacturing and operational sites across the country become carbon zero certified.

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