Damm reduces energy used in the production of beer by 45% in 10 years
As part of its commitment to the circular economy, Damm generated green energy from beer taken back from bars and restaurants after lockdown
Damm is committed to being sustainable and caring for the environment. The company has adopted measures aimed at being energy efficient and at reducing the consumption of natural resources, in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 12. Taking strategic actions to advance the SDGs is part of the mission of the UN Global Compact, which Damm signed up to in 2019. The company has an ambitious energy efficiency project that has helped it reduce the energy used to produce each hectolitre of beer by 45% over the last 10 years.
Aware of the need to optimise energy use during production, Damm has been working over the last few years to ensure that each product the company takes to market has the lowest possible environmental impact. Investments have been made in renewable and energy-efficient power sources such as cogeneration, trigeneration from biogas and photovoltaic solar energy.
As part of its corporate strategy to reduce energy consumption, at the end of the 1990s Damm decided to adopt cogeneration technology in some of its production plants. This system generates highly efficient energy, as electricity and heat from natural gas are used in the production centres.
Damm produces energy by means of cogeneration through a 10 MW turbine located in the El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) brewery and two cogeneration engines offering 5 MW of power in the La Moravia maltings in Bell-lloc d'Urgell (Lleida). The cogeneration plants supply the equivalent of all the heat consumed in the El Prat de Llobregat brewery and the La Moravia maltings.
Damm also generates nearly 3 million kWh of electrical energy from renewable biogas at the El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) brewery and 1.7 MW from 13,000m2 of photovoltaic panels installed at the brewery and at the company’s logistics hub in the ZAL Port in the Port of Barcelona. The company’s commitment to renewable energies avoids the emission of 2,160 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
"Adopting measures to encourage energy saving is one of the major objectives of our sustainable growth strategy. Today we are pleased to be able to confirm that over the last decade we have managed to reduce energy use by 45% for each hectolitre of beer produced, thanks to the implementation of eco-efficient measures," says Juan A. López Abadía, Energy Optimisation and Environment Director of at Damm.
Generating green energy from beer
Committed to the transition from a linear production model to a circular economy model, Damm is constantly searching for innovations that allow waste to be reused and green energy to be generated. After the end of the Covid-19 lockdown in Spain, Damm decided to replace, free of charge, barrels of beer that had been started and not used during the months without business in bars and restaurants. 3.5 million litres of beer were taken back and subsequently converted into 100% green energy.
To transform it into energy, the beer was deposited in tanks containing specific microorganisms that digest it, producing a gas of biological origin: biogas. The biogas is then separated, washed and purified, and is used as fuel in a cogeneration facility that produces sustainable electricity.
With this system Damm achieved a double win: reducing the volume of waste and saving energy. Re-using the beer allowed the company to generate almost 670,000 kWh of electricity, the equivalent of the average monthly consumption of approximately 2,500 Spanish households, and to reduce its carbon footprint by about 250,000kg of CO2.