Sustainable beer

24 May 2024

Brewing a Better Future: Sustainable Beer with the PEFCR Beer 

In times where environmental concerns are at the top of consumers’ minds, the brewing industry is experiencing a shift towards higher sustainability. This movement isn’t just about reducing waste or conserving energy. Instead, it involves integrating sustainable practices throughout the entire brewing process. By doing so, breweries can meet both regulatory demands and consumer expectations.

Sustainability in brewing encompasses a range of practices, from sourcing eco-friendly ingredients to implementing energy-efficient brewing methods. It’s a dynamic approach that not only helps breweries reduce their environmental footprint but also enhances their marketability. 

As more and more consumers favor brands with strong ethical commitments, the importance of sustainable beer production grows. Along with this, the need for ways to measure and improve the environmental impact of beer also increases. This is where the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for beer come into play. It provides a common framework for evaluating and enhancing sustainability in the brewing industry.

The Importance of PEFCR in Sustainable Beer Production

A Brief Explanation of Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR)

As global awareness of sustainability issues rises, the need for standardized measures to assess and report on the environmental impacts of products has become key. This shift has led to the development of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) framework, which provides a detailed analysis of a product’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.

Building on this, the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) set out specific guidelines for different product categories, ensuring a consistent and reliable method for evaluating environmental performance across diverse products. For the brewing industry, these guidelines adapt the broader PEF framework to the specific contexts and needs of beer production, making it possible to measure impacts accurately and uniformly. 

What is PEFCR Beer and why is it important for sustainable brewing ? 

The PEFCR Beer offers a methodology from the European Union for assessing the environmental impact of beer. This LCA framework ensures that all environmental assessments are carried out under the same rules, allowing for effective comparison across different beers and batches.

At Pilario, we teamed up with the Brewers of Europe to develop the PEFCR Beer model. Members of the Brewers of Europe recognized the need for a uniform, compliant methodology to measure their beer’s environmental footprint. It is especially important to use the same verified approach and methodology for everyone – this way, the results are comparable and compliant!

Adopting the PEFCR model allows breweries to evaluate critical aspects of their production processes, including water usage, energy consumption, raw material sourcing, and waste management. This comprehensive LCA method identifies key areas for improvement, making sustainability a tangible and more quantifiable target.

By implementing PEFCR, breweries not only meet increasing regulatory demands but also foster trust with environmentally conscious consumers. This trust is invaluable in a competitive market, as consumers are more frequently basing their purchase decisions on the environmental impact of their choices. The adoption of the PEFCR not only underscores a brewery’s commitment to sustainability but also enhances its credibility and appeal in a market where green credentials are increasingly linked to consumer loyalty and brand strength. 

pefcr beer

Unveiling the PEFCR Beer Model by Pilario: A Leap to Sustainable Beer

In the highly competitive and resource-demanding brewing industry, it’s crucial to optimize processes while promoting sustainability. Pilario does just that, transforming the way you conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), making them more straightforward, accessible, and, crucially – time-saving!

Advantages of Using the PEFCR Beer Tool for Breweries

Save Time and Money with Ready-to-use LCA Models

Our PEFCR Beer model helps you take a big leap in sustainable brewing by offering a ready-to-use LCA model, tailored to the brewing industry, fully aligned with Beer PEFCR guidelines. The integration of comprehensive design, production, logistics, supplier, and end-of-life information accelerates the LCA process. Saving money and time to reinvest in perfecting the craft of your beer.

Get Instant Results with an Intuitive Interface

With the simple input of key parameters, breweries can analyze immediate outcomes and engage in real-time simulations for ecodesign purposes. This feature not only makes the tool user-friendly but also fun to use.

Accurate and Compliant LCA Analysis

Accuracy and compliance are the foundations of our PEFCR Beer Model. Brewers can rely on this model to provide environmental assessments that meet environmental standards and regulatory requirements. Pilario’s commitment to accuracy and in-house LCA knowledge  ensures that breweries can confidently use these results to improve their sustainability story and meet the expectations of eco-conscious consumers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing PEFCR with Pilario

Step 1: Data collection for your beer

Start with collecting data on your beer. Include everything from the types of hops to the energy used in brewing, the distances your beer travels to reach customers, …. 

This foundational data is vital for a transparent and accurate environmental impact assessment.

Step 2: Data input in Pilario

Select the PEFCR Beer model, enter your beer’s data into Pilario’s platform. Which is designed to guide you through a PEFCR-compliant process. The interface ensures that your information is accurate and representative of your brewery’s unique environmental impact, for precise environmental impact calculations.

Step 3: Calculate the environmental footprint of your beer

Calculate your beer’s total environmental footprint. By using a compliant PEFCR model the impact of your beer gets calculated instantly. No prior LCA expertise needed. 

Step 4: Benchmark comparisons

Compare your environmental footprint with industry benchmark products or reference products to understand how your beer measures up against the best in the industry. This comparative analysis helps pinpoint strategic opportunities for your brewery to lead in sustainability.

Step 5: Ecodesign your beer

Fine-tune your brewing processes. Create multiple scenarios of your sustainable beer within our software, assessing and comparing each to find your optimum sustainable brewing method. 

Step 6: Share your green milestones 

Communicate your brewery’s eco-friendly efforts with Pilario’s automated LCA reports. Highlight your sustainability journey by sharing your environmental findings, strengthening your brand’s image. Showcase your beer’s environmental impact, online and in physical formats.

Pefcr Beer model Pilario

FAQs on Sustainable Brewing Practices 

  1. What is sustainable brewing, and why does it matter?

Sustainable brewing focuses on minimizing the environmental impact while producing high-quality beer. It involves reducing carbon emissions, conserving water, using renewable energy sources, and managing waste responsibly. Sustainability is crucial for lowering the brewing industry’s ecological footprint, contributing to a healthier environment, and ensuring long-term viability.

  1. What are common sustainable brewing practices?

Breweries that prioritize sustainability use energy-efficient equipment, conserve water, and source local, organic ingredients. They also recycle or reuse materials and turn to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. These practices reduce environmental impact and set a positive industry example.

  1. How does sustainable brewing benefit breweries and their communities?

Sustainable brewing can lead to cost savings through efficient resource use, boost public image, and enhance customer loyalty. It also promotes community engagement by supporting local farmers and suppliers and reducing environmental strain on surrounding areas. Additionally, sustainability practices help breweries stay compliant with environmental regulations, reducing the risk of penalties.

  1. What is the role of water conservation in sustainable brewing?

Water conservation is a core aspect of sustainable brewing. Breweries can use water-efficient brewing techniques, recycle water for cleaning, or implement rainwater collection systems to reduce water consumption. These measures not only support environmental sustainability but can also lower operational costs.

  1. How can breweries measure and improve their sustainability?

Breweries can track their sustainability progress by monitoring key metrics like energy use, water consumption, carbon emissions, and waste generation. Tools like the PEFCR Beer Tool provide a comprehensive LCA framework for assessing and improving sustainability. Continuous improvement involves setting clear goals, adopting new sustainable practices, and engaging stakeholders to ensure that all aspects of the brewing process align with sustainability objectives.

Conclusion: The Path to Sustainability in Brewing

The path to sustainable brewing is an ongoing process, requiring dedication, creativity, and the right tools.

Pilario’s PEFCR Beer model provides breweries like Heineken, Carlsberg, and AB InBev with a compliant LCA framework. This framework helps assess and improve their environmental impact across various stages, from raw material sourcing to packaging and distribution. By adopting sustainable practices, breweries can reduce their beer’s carbon footprint, conserve water, and minimize waste. These efforts lead to significant cost savings and a stronger brand reputation. Additionally, one of the main benefits of Pilario’s PEFCR Beer model is its ability to highlight how changing packaging—such as switching from aluminum cans to glass bottles—can reduce environmental impact.

Integrating sustainability into your business strategy not only aligns with consumer expectations but also positions breweries to lead the industry towards a more eco-friendly future. As regulations tighten and market demands evolve, those who invest in sustainability today will be best prepared for tomorrow. Pilario’s approach in offering a compliant PEFCR Beer model to all members of the Brewers of Europe. This demonstrates that with the right tools and mindset, every brewery can play a part in building a better, greener future, without the need for specific LCA expertise.

Ready to transform your business with Pilario? Schedule a meeting with one of our experts today to learn more. Explore our other ready-to-use LCA models and see how we can help you enhance your sustainability efforts. Don’t wait—take the next step towards a greener future now.