GHG reduction initiatives in manufacturing processes

Kirin Brewery reduced its GHG emissions by about 70% over a 25-year period from 1990 to 2015 by applying its leading technological capabilities in the global beer industry and carrying out numerous forward-looking initiatives.
The company is now taking on the challenge of applying even more technological innovations to achieve the Kirin Group's GHG emission reduction target (Scope 1+2, 30% reduction by 2030 compared to 2015 levels).
As a means to achieve this, we are aiming to shift our energy sources from fossil fuels to electric power. Both electric power and fossil fuels are currently used as energy sources at our breweries. Comparatively, the largest amount of GHG emissions comes from fossil fuels, which are used to generate heat. Therefore, in order to reduce GHG emissions, we need to improve energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy
consumption. At the same time, we believe that shifting the energy mix to electric power, and, furthermore, using electricity generated by renewable energy sources are the most effective ways of reducing GHG emissions.
Heat pump systems are a key technology for reducing GHG emissions. We have been able to both save energy and shift to electric power by installing heat pump systems. Simply installing equipment, however, will not necessarily produce results. Before installation, it is essential to analyze the entire heat flow of the production process and optimize it through advanced designs. The Kirin Group has accumulated leading engineering capabilities, and our team made use of that experience while aiming to put in place a production system that realizes the world’s lowest amount of GHG emissions.
Through these efforts, we expect to reach our GHG emission reduction target before 2030. Moreover, reducing annual energy costs by 1 billion yen appears to be achievable. n 2019, we introduced a heat pump system to our wastewater treatment facilities and began operating the system at our five plants in Japan. Wastewater from each process of beer production is discharged outside the plant through a wastewater treatment process. Wastewater is treated with microorganisms, and the temperature of wastewater must be kept constant in order to maintain the activity of microorganisms.
In the past, steam was used for heating in winter when the water temperature was low, and the water was released in a warm condition after microorganism treatment. By introducing a heat pump system, we can recover waste heat from discharging water and reuse the heat in the heating process before the microorganism treatment. This initiative enables us to eliminate the use of steam and we expect to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 2.0% annually.
In the future, we will expand the use of heat pumps in other processes such as cleaning and sterilization. Kirin Brewery will continue applying its technological strengths with a view to realize the world’s best energy system.

Method of reducing GHG emissions

Heat pump system

Fuel shift and cogeneration

A significant proportion of the fuel used in breweries is usedin the boilers that generate steam. We have shifted to natural gas, which generates less CO2 than heavy oil. This fuel shift has been completed in all of Kirin Brewery’s and Kirin Beverage’s manufacturing plants. We are also achieving more efficient boiler operations through the installation of high efficient boilers. We have introduced cogeneration systems to provide some of the plants’ heat and electricity.

Improvement of the refrigeration system

At some of the plants of Kirin Brewery, we reduced energy consumption through improving the efficiency of refrigerating systems. We applied cascade refrigeration system as key technology to improve the efficiency, the system cools in phases in a process that involves a considerable temperature difference, or making operational improvements.

Wastewater biogas

In our beer breweries, we have introduced anaerobic treatment facilities to purify the wastewater generated by the manufacturing process. Unlike conventional aerobic treatment, anaerobic treatment does not require electricity for aeration. Also, the anaerobic microorganisms generate biogas as a by-product of the treatment process. This biogas, the main component of which is methane, can be used in biogas boilers and cogeneration systems. Derived from plant-based raw materials such as malt, biogas is a renewable energy and a CO2-free fuel.

Construction of highly efficient production facilities at Myanmar Brewery

To meet skyrocketing demand, Myanmar Brewery has made major expansions at its manufacturing facilities. Its highefficiency 100,000 kL line began operation in the beginning of 2018. Kirin Holdings allocated skilled engineers into Myanmar business. They collaborated with Kirin Engineering, one of our group companies, which provides engineering service to food industry and has a good reputation for its high quality of work. Kirin Holdings utilize these engineering experiences and expertise to support Myanmar Brewery’s strategy to maximize return on capital projects.
Currently, with the rapid economic development in Myanmar, there are concerns about tightening of the energy supplydemand balance in the future. Contributing to solve this social issue, we are reducing energy consumption in our production processes by taking advantage of the Japanese Government’s Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) financial assistance scheme to introduce the latest energy-saving equipment with a track record in the domestic business. In this way, the Kirin Group aims to achieve sustainable growth in Myanmar while contributing to both Myanmar’s economic growth and the reduction of its environmental footprint.

Installed energy-saving equipment