Check Out These Amazing Sustainability Achievements – Including Guilt-Free Beer!

It’s one thing to set Sustainability targets: it’s another to achieve them and even smash them! We look at Lion’s recent Sustainability wins.

When it comes to sustainability, one thing that many organisations are great at is setting targets. For example, ‘by 2050 we’ll be carbon neutral!’ or ‘by 2030, we’ll be gender equal!’. The problem with targets, though, is that they often remain just that: targets. And as the target period approaches, the deadline for achieving these targets move further … and further … and further away. 

Recently though, we were buoyed to hear from Irene Bell, Global Procurement & Environment Director at Lion, a global alcoholic beverage company owned by global conglomerate Kirin. Irene shared Lion’s latest sustainability report (which you can find here), and it certainly appears that Lion not only has ambitious targets, but is making great progress towards them. 

Here are some of Lion’s key achievements (so: if your organisation isn’t achieving in these areas, it’s definitely time to ask why): 

A 28% reduction in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from a 2019 baseline 

In just two years, Lion has managed to reduce carbon emissions by over a quarter, which is a great achievement. 

As an organisation who is actually at the coal face of climate change (Lion acknowledges that unchecked climate change directly impacts their business through crop failure and water scarcity), Lion has made some ambitious targets when it comes to carbon emissions reductions. These include a 55% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, as well as the use of 100% renewable energy in Australia and New Zealand by 2025. 

Lion was able to make such outstanding progress towards their target in part because of a 100% renewable Power Purchase Agreement they implemented in January 2020 that covered much of their operations, meaning that they only used coal-generated power for a single office. 

Other beverage companies are also achieving great things in this space, with PepsiCo achieving a 25% reduction in the same time period. 

Lion’s packaging now includes over 52% recycled content 

There’s no doubt that packaging creates challenges for the environment.  Packaging can pollute our air, water and soil, block stormwater, and cause serious problems for wildlife. In Australia alone, people create 1.9 million tonnes of packaging waste per year, which ends up emitting the same amount of greenhouse gas as 860,000 cars. 

So, for all of these reasons, Lion’s achievement of 52% recycled packaging is an admirable one. 

It is also an admirable one because they managed to beat their own target of 50% by 2025. Hooray! The one thing better than meeting targets is to beat them. 

Lion officially launched their first carbon-zero, alcohol free beer: XXXX Zero

At the end of a challenging work day or week, there’s nothing better than enjoying a cold beer. Yet sometimes that enjoyment can come with a hint of guilt: how sustainable is this beer I’m drinking? How good for me is it, really? 

Fortunately, Lion’s answered our call for guilt-free beer by creating their very first carbon-zero, alcohol free beer. This beer is currently available in New Zealand, and it’s called Steinlager Zero. 

What is clear from Lion’s sustainability report (and Irene’s team efforts) is that there are companies out there that are doing far more than just lip service to their sustainability and environmental goals. So, if you’re not working for a company like that, it might be time to make the switch.