99FM – Your Inspiration Station

NBL commits to raising the bar on sustainability

As part of its “Brew a Better World 2030” strategy, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has announced that it is accelerating its sustainability efforts by committing to reach zero emissions across its operations by 2030, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement climate goal. The company said this will be realised through will be realised through a comprehensive strategy that emphasises increased renewable energy usage, enhanced energy efficiency, emission reduction across NBL’s value chain, and the implementation of innovative low-carbon technologies, and nature-based solutions.

NBL has pioneered innovative sustainability projects, laying the foundation for today’s heightened ambitions. A testament to this commitment is the installation of Africa’s first industrial-scale biomass boiler, reducing carbon emissions by over 63,000 tons since 2016. This state-of-the-art boiler currently fulfils an impressive 85% of the brewery’s thermal energy requirements, showcasing NBL’s success in transitioning towards renewable thermal energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint. NBL Managing Director, Peter Simons remarked: “Environmental stewardship and social responsibility are integral to our business and brewing heritage. While our early sustainability efforts put us on the map, our work has only just begun. We are committed to accelerating our Brew a Better World efforts in the decade ahead to realise our vision for a truly sustainable future.” Underscoring Simons’ sentiment, Bernd Esslinger, NBL Engineering Manager, highlighted NBL’s commitment to circular solutions, stating that: “NBL has spearheaded circular solutions like waste recycling and water treatment that benefit both our operations and the environment. These efforts reinforce our ambition to reach net zero emissions while

supporting healthy local ecosystems.” In pursuit of enhanced energy efficiency, NBL has strategically installed over 75 energy meters, enabling real-time tracking and data-driven targeting of electricity consumption. This initiative has not only driven efficiency improvements across operations but has also laid the groundwork for further advancements. The commissioning of two rooftop solar plants, in 2013 and 2023, contributes a noteworthy 22% to NBL’s total electricity needs.

According to Esslinger, “Our journey toward sustainability includes continuous innovation and optimisation. We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the pursuit of a greener and more sustainable future.” NBL has exhibited foresight on the water sustainability front by drilling five onsite boreholes and constructing a borehole water treatment plant, providing up to 80% of its water supply during drought periods. This local water sourcing strategy has proven essential for NBL to ensure sustainable water availability amidst changing climate conditions. In its commitment to waste reduction, NBL has implemented an integrated management system, embracing initiatives like increased use of recyclable packaging and the innovative repurposing of spent yeast. This holistic approach has resulted in a significant reduction in solid waste sent to landfills.

Building on these sustainability foundations, NBL has outlined ambitious commitments for the decade ahead:

– Transitioning to 100% renewable electricity across operations by 2030.

– Reducing carbon emissions by 30% across its value chain through partnerships with suppliers by 2030.

– Eliminating waste sent to landfill from production facilities by 2025.

– Balancing 100% of water use in water-stressed areas through community watershed projects.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world today, and businesses must step up their efforts to reduce emissions,” said Peter Simons, NBL Managing Director. “While we have made solid progress, our work has only just begun.” Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, NBL Corporate Affairs Manager, emphasised that NBL is committed to leading the way in sustainable practices, proving that businesses can drive positive change for our planet and communities. NBL invites all organisations in Namibia to join them on the urgent journey towards decarbonisation.