Waste Reduction

Molson Coors has a strategic commitment to reduce Our Beer Print. This includes minimizing the natural resources we consume, being as efficient as possible with those that we use, and reducing their associated environmental footprint.

One way we can do this is to minimize the waste that we generate in our breweries, distribution centres and offices and dispose of any unavoidable waste streams in a way that captures and maximizes their value. As Bill Coors said over 50 years ago “Waste is just a resource out of place”.

With this in mind in 2014, we set a global waste target for the first time. As part of our 2020 Sustainability Strategy, we commit to all of our operations being landfill-free by 2020. To reach our target, first we need to understand if the waste stream can be eliminated. Second, we need to determine how we can maximize its usefulness though re-use or recycling.

Within Molson Coors our waste reduction target is governed though the Global Governance team and our brewery managers who are incentivized to achieve our waste targets. Looking externally we see that there is great potential to work with our suppliers and customers to find innovative solutions to waste challenges to achieve this goal.

Over the last year we have made progress on our zero landfill target in two main areas:

  1. The implementation of the Our Beer Print Pillar. The Pillar is part of our World Class Supply Chain continuous improvement program, and which acts as a robust energy, water, carbon and waste management system is expected to deliver important water savings and risk reduction through better planning, process control and risk management. In 2014, we implemented the Our Beer Print Pillar in all of our breweries. Established plans to align each one with the requirements of the system, and audited them against the standard.

  2. Performed detailed gap analysis and waste audits on each site to understand the opportunities and challenges for each site, and created detailed plans of how we will achieve our 2020 targets.

The resource efficiency agenda is also important beyond our landfill reduction target. Currently, our co-products of spent grains and yeast are sold as cattle feed, or to make products such as Marmite. There is great potential to upgrade our co-products in to even more valuable materials and this is key area of research of our innovation team. See more details in Case Studies.

We also recognize that our packaging waste is an important part of the life cycle impacts of our products; find out what we are doing to reduce this here

Our Performance

Our 2020 target focuses on reducing the overall environmental impact of the waste we generate. Increasing recycling rates and reducing the total waste we generate is also a key focus. In 2015:

  • We disposed of 12% of the solid waste we generated in breweries, offices and distribution in landfill.
  • We reduced the amount of waste disposed in landfill by 30%, 96 grams less per hectolitre of beer than in 2014.
  • We reduced the amount of total waste generated per hectolitre of beer we produced by 8% from 2014 levels.

Progress towards 2020 Target:

  • We achieved zero landfill in Toronto, Canada and Smichov Prague, Czech Republic Brewery.
  • Alongside Burton and Tadcaster in the UK, brings total landfill free breweries to four.

Our waste data is comprised of solid waste sent to landfill, solid waste incinerated, solid waste to AD, compost and solid waste recycled. Spent grain and yeast is a co-product of the brewing process. Where we sell these products for use as animal feed we do not include in consolidated group waste stream reporting, or include in the % disposed in landfill calculation; we treat them as valuable products and are subject to our food safety standards.

Performance Against Zero Landfill Trends and Breakdown by Region 

Molson Coors Solid Waste
2012 2013 2014 2015
Solid Waste to Landfill (%) 10.76 13.27 17.43 15.86
Solid waste disposed in landfill (g/hl) 331.8 392.8 322.2 226.1
Solid waste (g/hl) 2502.3 2231.9 2019.1 1866.4


Resource Efficiency by Region (tonnes) 2015

Molson Coors
Global MC Europe1 MC Canada MC International
Landfill 6730.0 2104.0 3680.2 945.8
Solid Waste to Incineration 4058.7 1816.7 2242.0 0.0
Solid Waste to AD 7.9 7.9 0.0 0.0
Compost 2754.7 2509.9 244.8 0.0
Waste recycled (not including co-products) 42009.4 20341.5 20552.5 1115.4
Total solid waste 55560.8 26780.0 26719.6 2061.2
CoProducts 392300.5 298644.9 89707.6 3948.0

1 MCE includes UK and Central Europe.


Significant Investments – MillerCoors (tonnes) 2015
Landfill 63.1
Solid Waste to Incineration 687.6
Solid Waste to AD 27.8
Compost 20440.3
Waste recycled (not including co-products) 10266.1
Total solid waste 31484.9
CoProducts 271421.3

The data has been independently reviewed in accordance with ISAE 3000. The data tables report waste generated by region for Molson Coors Brewing Company. Due to our 42% equity share in MillerCoors in the US, we also report 42% of their environmental impact separately. This was due to a change in the scope of reporting from equity share to operational control in order to render the environmental metrics with financial denominators more comparable. See Reporting Scope for full details regarding MillerCoors and Economic Impact for details of Molson Coors’ and MillerCoors’ financial performance.