SHANGHAI--()--Global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and energy solutions provider GE (NYSE: GE) today announced a strategic alliance to jointly develop innovative manufacturing solutions to drive energy efficiency and water savings in existing and “greenfield” AB InBev facilities across China.
“We are very pleased to engage in this strategic partnership with GE as we continue to strive for more sustainable manufacturing processes. As a brewing industry leader, we will continue to strive to establish a benchmark for energy innovation in the brewing industry and larger food and beverage marketplace.”
As a resource-efficient global brewer, AB InBev has defined key performance indicators related to energy use, water use and CO2 emissions. With clear 2012 objectives to reduce the water-to-beer ratio to 3.5, reduce energy usage aggressively and decrease CO2 output and reliance on traditional energy sources via the use of biogas and natural gas, AB InBev was seeking a partner with global reach and a dedicated approach to the challenges facing the brewing industry. A centralized food and beverage solutions organization and “Customer Innovation Centers” designed to better serve China’s western, northern, central and southern markets made GE an ideal partner.
“When GE expressed its desire to partner, we agreed without hesitation,” said Ricardo Dias, vice president of procurement for AB InBev APAC. “We are very pleased to engage in this strategic partnership with GE as we continue to strive for more sustainable manufacturing processes. As a brewing industry leader, we will continue to strive to establish a benchmark for energy innovation in the brewing industry and larger food and beverage marketplace.”
GE aims to utilize its resources aligned to the food and beverage industry to support AB InBev to exceed its 2012 objectives. Working together, AB InBev and GE engineering resources will establish an “Innovation Team” to understand AB InBev’s processes and challenges. This insight will enable the team to define clear solutions that can be implemented and piloted in designated AB InBev locations, with successes taken to plants across the AB InBev China landscape.
“We are very pleased to partner with AB InBev, a leader in the beverage industry,” said Jack Wen, vice president of GE and president of GE Energy China. “AB InBev is striving to make its manufacturing processes as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. GE has advanced technologies that can address the challenges of the food and beverage marketplace. Our alliance with AB InBev will enable us to work together to create solutions that will empower the larger brewing industry to achieve these same objectives.”
With AB InBev’s 2012 goals in mind, this partnership will initially focus on designing and implementing several key solutions, including:
- Energy management solutions that use advanced software systems to provide insight into the level of energy and water used, enabling visibility into potential energy and water losses, while allowing for a better understanding of where improvements can be made.
- Combined heat and power solutions that utilize gas engines will enable several AB InBev pilot sites to create electricity via either biogas or natural gas. With these engines achieving energy efficiency levels of 70 to 90 percent, the utilization of energy is dramatically improved.
- Waste-to-value solutions that will enable efficient use of water and energy normally left over from the manufacturing process.
The AB InBev and GE teams will work together to optimize these solutions and define additional solutions throughout the partnership.
This initiative is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 100,000 tons per year in addition to reducing water and energy consumption. The results also have the potential to resonate throughout the broader industry. As one industry opinion leader stated, “If the pilot project succeeds and the gains can be shared across the larger food and beverage industry, it will move China closer to its goal of establishing a conservation-oriented society and move us closer to achieving the goal of a low-carbon economy.”
This initiative is the next step in a growing tradition of environmental leadership for AB InBev. In April 2010, the company announced its three-year environmental performance targets and its goal to become the world's most environmentally friendly brewer. In just a year-and-a-half, AB InBev has achieved remarkable results through its global experience and active practices in China. In 2010, AB InBev China reduced water consumption by 20.7 percent, carbon emissions by 20 percent and energy consumption by 13.19 percent.
GE’s Customer Innovation Centers are part of GE’s ongoing investment in China. In 2010, the company announced a plan to invest more than $2 billion in research and development, technology and financial service partnerships in China by 2012.
About Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with an American Depositary Receipt secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). It is the leading global brewer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies. A true consumer-centric, sales-driven organization, AB InBev manages a portfolio of well over 200 beer brands that includes global flagship brands Budweiser®, Stella Artois® and Beck’s®, fast-growing multi-country brands like Leffe® and Hoegaarden®, and strong “local champions” such as Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Quilmes®, Michelob®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivske® and Jupiler®, among others. In addition, the company owns a 50 percent equity interest in the operating subsidiary of Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of the global Corona® brand. AB InBev’s dedication to heritage and quality is rooted in brewing traditions that originate from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, which traces its origins back to 1852 in St. Louis, Mo. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, AB InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 114, 000 employees based in operations in 23 countries across the world. The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. In 2010, AB InBev realized 36.3 billion in U.S. dollar revenue. For more information, please visit: www.ab-inbev.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.