October 31, 2002


Zero Emissions - Asahi Breweries

Keywords: Newsletter 

JFS Newsletter No.2 (October 2002)

"Nothing Goes to the Landfill"

In the JFS Newsletter we plan to report on various activities and achievements in different feature series, including "Toward Zero Emissions," "Dematerialization," and "Unique Activities in Japan." Here we present the first article of the "Toward Zero Emissions" series.

Asahi Breweries manufactures and sells beer as well as various types of liquor, juice and soda beverages. The company has 3,799 employees (December 31, 2001) and a turnover of 1.1 trillion yen (January to December, 2001). It is the 11th largest beer company in the world.

Asahi Breweries achieved 100 percent waste recycling at their plants in November 1998. This means that no waste from their manufacturing processes is sent to landfills. All waste is recycled and re-used as resources.

According to the company's Eco Report 2002, approximately 370,000 tonnes of byproducts and waste were generated from manufacturing processes of regular and low-malt beers during the year. About 80 percent of waste consists of malt feed (malt husk) generated from the feeding process. About 10 percent is sludge and screen residue in the waste water treatment process, and about 7 percent is glass waste, including bottles.

All by-products and waste generated in production processes are used as resources. Malt feed is now used as feed for cattle and research for other uses is now underway. Sludge and screen residue are used as organic fertilizer and compounds, and glass waste is used as a raw material for bottles or building materials.

Surplus yeast generated in the fermentation process is used as a raw material for pharmaceutical and processed food products produced by Asahi Food and Health Care, one of the group companies.

Asahi Breweries indicates three key points to achieve 100 percent recycling of waste.

- Thorough separation of waste makes any waste item recyclable. The company has appointed a person in charge for each waste separation station and checks regularly to ensure that all waste is separated for recycling.

- All employees understand that waste separation is part of the job. Meetings on waste separation are held and employees make efforts in separation, believing that they are separating not wastes but resources.

- Check the final disposal situation. Once a year, Asahi Breweries personnel go to the sites of each company that has been subcontracted to recycle their waste, in order to check and confirm the actual situation of recycling.