Overcoming climate change"SBT for 1.5℃" target: Aiming for the world's most advanced energy system
Upgraded from “SBT for 2℃” target to “SBT for 1.5℃” target
As a mid-term target for the reduction of GHGs, inNovember 2020, the Kirin Group obtained approval from the international SBT initiative(SBTi) for a target under the new standards for an “SBT for 1.5℃.” The “SBT for 1.5℃” target has been developed in order to prevent irreversible global climate change. It is a science-based target (SBT) aimed at limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5℃, compared with levels prior to the industrial revolution.
The Kirin Group was the first Japan food company to obtain approval for an “SBT for 2℃” target under the former standards in 2017. Now, we are the first Japanese food company to obtain an upgrade from an “SBT for 2℃” target to an “SBT for 1.5℃” target.
Although large-scale investment will be required to achieve this goal, the Kirin Group aims to implement measures to combat climate change that will be profit and loss neutral over the medium- to long-term, by introducing renewable energy, using the energy cost reduction benefits of energy conservation investments throughout the Group as funds.
Use of heat pumps in production processes
At five Kirin Brewery plants, we introduced heat pump systems for wastewater treatment facilities in 2019, thereby reducing GHG emissions by 2% (approximately 3,400 tons) from the previous year across Kirin Brewery as a whole. We will disseminate the knowledge gained through these efforts to each Group company as soon as possible to maximize the effects. Kirin Brewery has successfully reduced its GHG emissions by approximately 70% over the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, thanks to its leading technological capabilities in the global beer industry. Kirin Brewery 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, 50%reduction by 2030 compared to 2019 levels).
As a means to achieve this, Kirin Brewery is aiming to shift its energy sources from fossil fuels to electric power. Kirin Brewery currently uses both electric power and fossil fuels as energy sources at breweries. Comparatively, the largest amount of GHG emissions comes from fossil fuels, which we use 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 technologies, and Kirin Brewery made use of that experience while aiming to put in place a production system that realizes the world’s lowest amount of GHG emissions.
We have begun introducing heat pumps at wastewater treatment plants. We treat wastewater with microorganisms, and keep the temperature of wastewater constant in order to maintain the activity of microorganisms. In the past, we used steam for heating in winter when the water temperature was low, and released the water 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, contributing to a reduction in GHG emissions. In the future, we will expand the use of heat pumps in other processes such as cleaning and sterilization.
The Kirin Group will continue leveraging its technological strengths to take on the challenge of creating the world’s best energy system.