Sustainable use of water resourcesProduction

Measures to conserve water in response to water stress

Reducing the amount of water we use in our breweries and plants is a major issue. The Kirin Group has pursued water conservation through recycling and other means, in addition to initiatives based on using water only when and as much as needed.
Focusing on water stress in the basin regions around our breweries and plants, we are installing and operating water-saving equipment according to the level of water stress.

Cascading industrial water

In plants, much of our water usage is for washing and sterilizing processes for equipment and pipes. In addition to establishing frameworks and mechanisms to confirm and assure the washing, from a quality perspective, we also strictly control water flow rate and velocity to ensure that we do not waste water. We also actively pursue the re-use of water, depending on the purpose.
For example, the rinsing water that we use in the final step of the pipe and equipment washing process is still relatively clear, so we can use it again for the initial process of pipe washing. In this way, we have implemented a cascading system of water use in which we repeatedly use water that we have previously used in washing, according to the quality of the water. In actuality, considerable knowledge on how to use equipments is necessary to guarantee that we are properly washing the equipment and pipes, such as achieving the right balance of the amount of water we can recover and the amount of water we can use, as well as the timing of recovery and use.
The Kirin Group is achieving a high level of water conservation by sharing and accumulating various different types of expertise.

  • Cascading rinse water for washing tanks

Reuse of cooling water

Thai Kyowa Biotechnologies, which was subject to restrictions on water intake in 2020, has been promoting the reuse of cooling water for amino acid production.
In order to produce amino acids, a large amount of water is required, including cooling water for cultivation, water for making preparations for the production process, and water for washing purification resin column. The system is such that cooling water produced from piped water is drained after a certain number of uses, and new piped water is supplied. Thai Kyowa Biotechnologies has been increasing the number of times cooling water is reused to save piped water required for cooling.

Air rinse facility

In January 2022, Kirin Beverage's Shonan Plant introduced and used a new sterile filling system for PET bottles. This system replaces water with air in the rinsing process on the non-alcoholic beverages production line. We expect the annual amount of water conserved during production to be around 130,000m3. We plan to introduce the same system in other non-alcoholic beverage lines to further reduce water consumption.

  • Air rinse facility introduced at the Shonan Plant

Advanced water treatment equipment

In 2009, Lion partnered with the government of Queensland, Australia, to install a reverse osmosis (RO) plant at the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, to recover wastewater and minimize our reliance on mains-fed town water from the area where the brewery is located. Lion has introduced a water recycling plant with the aim of reducing the amount of water used for brewing by half. We use water treated with reverse osmosis membranes in non-product related processes, such as cleaning, cooling, and pasteurizing. In 2021, Castlemaine Perkins Brewery achieved a unit water consumption rate of 2.8kl/kl, which approaches world class levels.
Lion is sharing this technology within the Kirin Group, and we are now using it at Kirin Brewery’s Kobe Plant.
Lion, which faces a high level of water stress, set a target during 2021 of increasing water efficiency to 2.4kl/kl by 2025 at breweries producing large quantities of beer. At Tooheys Brewery, which uses the most water, we are considering various options for water recycling and reuse, and plan to develop an effective approach during 2022.

  • Flow of sophisticated water processing facility at the Kobe Plant

*The above information is reprinted from the Kirin Group Environmental Report 2022 and is current as of June 30, 2022.