Heineken Ireland brewing “green” beer

Recycled carbon dioxide, which is created in the natural fermentation process, is now used in Heineken Ireland's beer production process as part of its carbon dioxide reuse project.


Heineken Ireland's Managing Director Maarten Schuurman and Barbara-Anne Richardson, its Sustainability Manager, announcing the 2021 sustainability results.

Heineken Ireland’s Managing Director Maarten Schuurman and Barbara-Anne Richardson, its Sustainability Manager, announcing the 2021 sustainability results.

This represents just one element of Heineken Ireland’s broad commitment to sustainability across all facets of its operation both in Ireland and globally.

Heineken Ireland recently released its 2021 sustainability progress report as part of its Brew a Better World sustainability strategy, demonstrating the brewer’s commitment to continuing its environmental progress and highlighting its industry-leading ambitions for 2022 and beyond.

Despite the continued industry challenges presented by Covid-19 the Lady’s Well Brewery has continued to showcase its strong commitment to creating a sustainable business, moving towards a circular economy through initiatives such as the reuse of by-products like carbon dioxide and grain dust and the repurposing of kegs of beer during Lockdown.

Using recycled carbon dioxide for millions of pints of beer helped make Heineken’s Cork brewery 96% carbon dioxide self-sufficient.

And through working with industry partners, the brewer also plans to remove more than half a million single use plastic cups from events this Summer through the introduction of a reusable plastic cup.

While the hospitality sector continued to suffer Lockdowns in 2021 Heineken Ireland ensured no pints went to waste. Over 19 million pints in total – from the cellars of pubs in Lockdown across 2020 and 2021 – were repurposed and turned into energy and animal feed.


NoLo & moderation

Heineken Ireland has also continued to lead the way in moderation, funding dedicated Zero Zone spaces in retail outlets to help showcase NoLo alcohol options for consumers.

So far, the brewer has created over 1,100 Zero Zones in off-licences and retail outlets across Ireland. The Zero Zones are used to showcase all NoLo products rather than just the Heineken Ireland brands, which further underscores the brewer’s commitment to the promotion of moderation.

Building on the widespread availability of bottled Heineken 0.0%, the draught pint 0.0% is now also available in over 2,200 bars and restaurants across Ireland with continued expansion to a further 700 outlets this year.

Key 2021 highlights across the three pillars of Heineken Ireland’s Brew a Better World sustainability strategy include:



Due to ongoing investments, the Heineken Ireland brewery is 96% self-sufficient in CO₂ and at full production the site can recapture over 2,000 tonnes of CO₂ from the fermentation process for reuse in brewing. This green CO₂ is recycled and reused in the production process, in areas such as the carbonisation of beer, pressurising kegs and pressurising vessels.

In addition to operating a Zero Waste to Landfill site from its Cork brewery, all by-products from the brewing process (eg spent grain and grain dust) are reused and recycled, with 30 tonnes of waste being repurposed per year as animal feed.

It has achieved a 28% reduction in emissions from production since 2018 and aims to achieve zero emissions from its brewery by 2030. It’s also the first global brewer to pledge carbon neutrality in the full value chain by 2040.

Heineken Ireland has removed over four million pieces of plastic packaging and removed PET plastic bottles from its entire product portfolio. Reusable cups were successfully tested at events in 2020/21, with a plan in place to remove more than half a million single use plastic cups from events this Summer.


All Heineken brand campaigns feature a strong Heineken 0.0% presence, ensuring that consumers have a choice of 0.0% no matter what the occasion. In addition to this, 10% of Heineken’s brand media spend is dedicated to a standalone campaign promoting responsible consumption behaviour and encouraging healthier drinking habits every year.

In 2021, this campaign reached over one million people across Ireland.


Social Impact

Currently, 33% of Heineken Ireland’s senior leaders are female, with a commitment to reach 50% by 2024.

In 2021, Heineken Ireland launched Fresh Beginnings, a €10 million stimulus programme which was the largest in its 165-year history, to support the hospitality sector re-opening.

Heineken Ireland is committed to local suppliers, with 100% of its barley coming from Irish farmers. In total, it works with over 300 Irish suppliers, delivering an annual spend of €54 million to the Irish economy.


Reporting transparency

“While 2021 continued to pose significant challenges for the drinks and hospitality industry, at Heineken Ireland we’re incredibly proud that we have continued to make substantial progress in our sustainability initiatives across the business and in setting ambitious environmental goals for the future,” said Barbara-Anne Richardson, Heineken Ireland’s Sustainability and Public Affairs Manager, “Guided by our award-winning Brewing a Better World sustainability strategy, at Heineken Ireland we’re committed to industry-leading sustainability and moving towards a circular economy.”

Heineken Ireland has been transparently reporting its sustainability results since 2010 and is the first – and currently the only – drinks company in Ireland to hold the independently-audited Business Working Responsibly Mark under NSAI ISO 26100.

The brewer was recently announced as Ireland’s Overall Winner of the 2021 Green Food and Beverage Producer Awards. It was also awarded Bord Bia’s Sustainable Impact Award in 2019 and a REPAK Bronze Award for commitments to reduce plastic from across the business in 2020.

Heineken Ireland’s Managing Director Maarten Schuurman and Barbara-Anne Richardson, its Sustainability Manager, announcing the 2021 sustainability results.

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