Heineken is now brewing its Sol beer with solar

25 Nov 2020

Heineken is one step closer to its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its beverage production to 70% by 2030 with the installation of 9,212 solar panels at its brewery in the Netherlands where it produces Sol beer.

Now the company’s beer that is brewed at its Zoeterwoude brewery uses electricity that is 100% powered by the sun, and it will be available in 50 markets worldwide with the phrase “Brewed with Solar Energy” on its packaging.

Heineken is now brewing its Sol beer with solar
Courtesy of Heineken

The solar power at the brewery not only powers the production of hops and grain into libations, but it also generates enough electricity to power about 300 homes for over a month. Heineken directs this energy into the public power grid for use by neighboring communities.

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a focus for companies that are looking to attract customers who are wielding their wallets to advance change in corporate environmental practices. According to Nielsen data, for 45% of customers, a company’s commitment to sustainability not just in words but in deeds can influence purchasing behavior – over two-thirds of consumers are even willing to pay more for a product that supports their environmental expectations.

This shift to shopping with the environment in mind has only gained steam in recent months as the pandemic has thrown the concept of health into the limelight. Kearney data from April show the pandemic has made almost half of consumers more concerned about the state of the environment and 11% of those surveyed say they have altered their purchases to focus more on environmental claims within the past year.

As a result, sustainability in the highly competitive food and beverage industry is no longer a luxury. With consumers looking to put their money where their mouth is, companies have found that adopting more sustainable business practices is both better for the bottom line as well as for the longevity of customer retention. Manufacturers adopting complete transparency were shown by Label Insight to build consumer loyalty rates of about 94%.

Sol beer is the latest brand to take a step in this direction, but even the brand’s parent company, Heineken, is professing to have sustainability “embedded” in its business through its Brewing a Better World program that aims to improve the business’s environmental footprint through six areas: protecting water resources, sourcing sustainability, advocating responsible consumption, promoting health and safety, growing with communities, and reducing CO₂ emissions. As the brewer edges toward more sustainable practices one beer at a time, consumers will likely be waiting with anticipation to see what the company's next investment in the environment will be.

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