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Anheuser-Busch said that even with production increases, it has managed to cut the weight of materials that it sends to local landfills by nearly 22 percent (or approximately 2,400 tons) in 2008 compared to the same time frame last year, thanks to ongoing efforts to recycle the solid waste associated with brewing and packaging its beers, to a rate of more than 99 percent.
"Our employees are to be commended for their efforts to find ways to recycle and reuse materials throughout our operations," said Peter Kraemer, v.p. of operations for the brewer. "At each of our 12 U.S. breweries, our people are looking for ways to use fewer materials and keep the solid waste we do generate out of landfills."
Among the items reused and recycled at the breweries include: spent brewers' grain, plastic strapping, stretch wrap, aluminum, glass, cardboard, plastics, office paper, metals, pallets, and beechwood chips. This amounted to nearly four billion pounds of materials in 2007.
To help emphasize its recycling efforts, Anheuser-Busch has placed a print ad in this week's editions of Sport Illustrated and U.S. News and World Report. Featuring Fort Collins brewery employee Blair Everett, the ad notes the company's long-standing environmental record.
Anheuser-Busch has also focused on reducing the amount of materials used at its breweries. For example, the company has reduced aluminum can weight by more than 40 percent since the 1970s. Employees are also encouraged to look for ways to conserve energy, water and raw materials in daily operations at the breweries and learn how to conserve energy and recycle at home through environmental fairs and the company's annual "Green Week," a yearly tradition dating back to 1990.
The brewer said it is also expanding its use of alternative fuels.
As a member of the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Program, Anheuser-Busch said it has committed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2010 for all of its U.S. operations.
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales.