After two years with its pioneering water recycling system, Carlsberg estimates that the brewery in Fredericia has saved approximately 1 billion liters of water. The brewery is an example of how broad collaborations can solve one of the world's biggest challenges - water scarcity.
This year, World Water Day focuses on global water scarcity and how new technologies can help to address this major challenge.
Almost two years ago, Carlsberg Denmark broke grounds on its new water recycling plant. Since then, by recycling 90% of all process water from production, the brewery has saved almost 1 billion litres of water.
"Water is the planet's most important resource, but unfortunately it is also a scarce resource. The main ingredient in beer and soft drinks is water, and therefore we also have a responsibility to contribute with solutions that can help solve the challenge of water scarcity," says Tenna Skov Thorsted, sustainability manager at Carlsberg Denmark.
The food industry, both at home and abroad, is one of the biggest users of drinking water - both in finished products and for cleaning the machinery that produces food and drink.
"Because we are major users of water in the food industry, we are also the ones who can and must make a difference through innovation, new technology and partnerships. In Fredericia, we have taken a huge step with our new water system, but even small reductions in water consumption can make a huge difference when scaled up to an entire industry," says Tenna Skov Thorsted.
The water plant in Fredericia will be a learning platform for Carlsberg's other breweries around the world and an example of how to reuse water in the industrial sector in general.
'In the last two years, we have gained a lot of experience, and we have shown that beer can be brewed more water-efficiently. Now, this experience will be applied to the Carlsberg Group's other breweries to eliminate water waste globally," says Tenna Skov Thorsted.
In Carlsberg's latest sustainability program, Together Towards Zero And Beyond, water plays a crucial role.
"Water is at the heart of our sustainability program. It's about making sure there is enough water for everyone. We do this by being as efficient as possible and by reusing our process water, and we also make sure to do water projects that give as much water back to the local population as we have used in areas where water is a scarce resource," says Tenna Skov Thorsted.
Last year, Carlsberg won the Global Water Awards for the world's most water-efficient brewery.