The “King of Beers,” Anheuser-Busch, has jumped on the green wagon and has initiated different practices to help improve the quality of the environment. Anheuser-Busch not only holds 50 percent of the beer market in the United States but they are continuously dedicated to improving the quality of life. In 2008, they were named Number 1 in Social Responsibility in FORTUNE’S Magazines 2008 List of Most Admired Companies.
The Web site, called OUR PLEDGE, dedicated to their environmental responsibility outlines the major initiatives they focus on, which include recycling and packaging, water conservation, energy and wildlife and habitats. Although Anheuser-Busch uses many aluminum cans for their beer, they also recycle a lot. They recycled around 27 billion aluminum cans annually, and also encourage their suppliers to do the same by sending promotional materials and supporting challenges for the top recyclers. The Anheuser-Busch Recycle Challenge has a school program where schools can earn money from recycled cans to purchase equipment and prizes including Golf events and Daytona 500 tickets. They are also very involved in litter prevention, and work closely with the Keep America Beautiful campaigns.
Since water is a major part of beer, it is no wonder Anheuser-Busch is worried about the water conservation. Anheuser-Busch Water Council has worked to reduce the amount of water used in each plant by 7 percent, which is 4.6 billion tons of water.
The breweries of Anheuser-Busch use renewable fuel to run their facilities. The Bio-Energy Recovery System generates energy from the brewing process wastewater. This energy from BERS generated enough energy to heat over 25,000 homes last year, and it reduced more than 250 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by using this renewable fuel. Also the Anheuser-Busch Technology Center in St. Louis is LEED certified, and they are building two more facilities that will also meet these requirements.
“Budweiser and Alligators- we’ll drink to that,” states all Anheuser-Busch does to help wildlife conservation. They host ten wildlife habitats that are certified by Wildlife at Work, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help wildlife habitats on corporate land. Within these practices, Anheuser-Busch allows alligators to be on their farm ponds in Jacksonville Fla., and they support gardens in Georgia and made peregrine falcon homes in Wisconsin.
Although, it seems like Anheuser-Busch is in a perfect place for their environmental practices, it is not that way for many of their customers. In the “Green Biz Report” for 2007, it seems that many Budweiser drinkers were disappointed after Greenpeace analyzed the beer and found presence of genetically altered rice in three of the four samples tested. After these claims of hurting the health of their customers, Anheuser-Busch released a statement: “the rice is approved for use in the U.S. and is not used in brewing Budweiser destined for export.” Anheuser-Busch also mentioned that they currently sell two organic beers, Wild Hop Lager and Stone Mill pale ale.
I found it very unusual that a beer company would worry about the environment because many of their customers probably do not even think about Anheuser-Busch’s practices, especially their practices towards the environment. Though I found it unusual, I think it is impressive that they do so much. Hopefully, more people will learn of their practices and whenever they crack open a Budweiser or Bud Light they will think about how Anheuser-Busch is helping the environment. Even it is one beer or one alligator at a time.