Heineken announced plans to invest £25 million (USD$32 million) for the installation of heat pumps and a heat network at its Manchester brewery, in a move aimed at reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and lower emissions.

The new system will use heat pumps to replace natural gas-powered steam boilers at the 700 million pint per year brewery with electricity-powered heat pumps, and will include a distribution and recovery pipe network to absorb heat from multiple processes, with captured heat reused for brewing and packaging.

According to Heineken, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, and result in a 45% reduction in natural gas, supporting its climate goals, which include reaching net zero in its own production by 2030 and its full value chain, “from barley to bar,” by 2040.

Chelsey Wroe, Head of Sustainability at HEINEKEN UK, said:

“We want to brew a better world and we need to act now if we are going to meet our 2030 net zero ambitions. Heat pumps are a key technology on our journey to decarbonizing our breweries and enable us to create a circular process with the excess heat that is created during the brewing process.”

System supplier GEA will design, supply and install the new network and modify Heineken’s legacy process equipment.

Matthew Hadwen, Sales Manager Brewery at GEA’s Liquid & Powder Technologies Division, said:

“Being able to do it all in-house makes us a more reliable partner to HEINEKEN, who are truly serious about their sustainability goals. Hopefully this approach will encourage other companies to follow their example.”