Climate protection in the beverage industry

Use less, achieve more – the call for eco-efficient production has long since arrived in the industrial goods business. And for good reasons: firstly, they intensify the focus of legislators and consumers on resource-economical means of production. Secondly, they create huge advantages for their operators – provided, of course, they do not adversely impact on performance or profitability.

The importance of protecting the natural environment is corroborated by scientific reports such as the 5th Assessment Report of the internationally recognised Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which reached the following conclusions:

  • The human influence on the climate system is indisputable.
  • The most recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history.
  • The warming of the climate system is indisputable, and since the 1950s many of the changes observed over decades to millennia are unprecedented. The atmosphere and the oceans have warmed up, the quantities of snow and ice have shrunk, and the sea level has risen.

These findings show that action is needed in order to minimise the adverse effects of humans on the climate. This necessitates firstly clean, renewable energies that do not cause any air pollution, do not contribute towards climate change, and do not have a negative impact on food supplies and eco-systems. There is also a need for energy-efficient products. These technologies have to be purposefully developed by the industrial sector.

This is why ten years ago Krones had already decided to introduce the enviro sustainability programme, tasked with improving the energy-efficiency of Krones’ product portfolio and the eco-compatibility of Krones’ machines. The aim here is to equip the food and beverage industries with up-to-the-future technologies ensuring performatively excellent and at the same time resource-economical production operations. To render the improvements verifiable, the sustainability programme is certified by the TÜV SOUTH Technical Inspectorate as an independent appraiser. And the programme is being continually upgraded: enviro is being purposefully extended to cover the entire portfolio, and is firmly anchored in the development and design of Krones’ products.

The best example for incorporating the enviro idea in Krones’ products is Brewnomic, which in 2017 (back then still called Brewery of the Future) won the Public Prize of the German Energy Efficiency Award. In this brewing power plant, the demand for energy- and resource-economy has been purposefully implemented: losses are rigorously minimised, and energies recovered in the process by cross-system interlinkage based on ingenious production planning. In order to render this effective, innovative concepts have to be reciprocally harmonised, such as an improved unit-type cogeneration plant and an optimised refrigeration system. And last but not least, load peaks have to be flattened out by a continuous brewing process in conjunction with a central energy storage unit. Precisely what does this rigorous focus on resource-economy look like, what does Brewnomic mean for the brewer in his daily work, and in what direction is the concept being progressed? I shall soon be talking about this to Krones Product Manager Dr. Ralph Schneid – and then of course reporting back on the blog.