A new report, "Brewing Green," lays out the commitments, which include a 17.5 percent reduction in overall CO2 emissions and an 11 percent increase in water efficiency by 2020.
If the association's members — roughly 34,000 pubs and breweries across Britain, which account for 96 percent of that country's beer manufacturing — achieve those goals, they would go far beyond the government's own goals and requirements: For CO2 emissions, that goal represents a 67 percent reduction over a 1990 baseline (compared to the government's 34 percent commitment); for water efficiency, an 11 percent increase would equal a 42 percent decrease in water used per liter of beer over a 1990 baseline.
The full 10 commitments are as follow:
1) Carbon emissions: To reduce carbon emissions by 67 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990.
2) Water efficiency: To achieve an industry average of less than four litres of water for each litre of beer produced, a reduction of 42 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990.
3) Renewable energy: To increase the use of renewable energy within the sector.
4) Waste reduction: To continue to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill year on year and increase the amount reused.
5) Packaging waste and recycling: To play our part in the reduction of packaging waste from our products.
6) Packaging reduction and 'lightweighting' of containers: To minimise the use of packaging without compromising the safety and quality of our products – through lightweighting and working with the wider supply chain.
7) Use of raw agricultural materials: To continue to improve the efficient use of raw materials.
8) Environmental management systems: To ensure appropriate environmental management systems are in place, covering carbon, energy, water, effluent, waste minimization and packaging to reduce the environmental impact of brewing and in support of brewers' environmental policies and operating permits.
9) Sustainable production: To develop plans to ensure the sustainable future of brewing in the UK, by monitoring and managing potential supply-side risks.
10) Accountability and transparency: To produce an annual report that sets out progress against agreed plans and targets, and to enhance the quality and quantity of data available to monitor progress against all targets.
The association spells out the challenges to achieving these goals in its report. For example, reducing carbon emissions is complicated by a consumer shift away from draft beer to more energy-intensive canned and bottled beers.