Anheuser-Busch is partnering with Cambrian to implement new water reuse technology in connection with its breweries – including a new plant in Houston, Texas, set to open in the summer of 2022. Through a series of reactors and filtration technologies, Anheuser-Busch will be able to clean and reuse previously discarded water in industrial processes which don’t contact beer, reducing the Houston brewery’s reliance on new water from the community’s municipal water supply by 10%.
With the addition of Cambrian’s BlueCycle MBR process water treatment system, Anheuser-Busch will be able to drastically reduce the volume of water drawn from natural sources and minimize the strain on the local water supply and treatment infrastructure. Anheuser-Busch’s Houston brewery will be able to clean and reuse upwards of 100 million gallons of wastewater annually. Less water drawn from the municipal water system will mitigate hundreds of tons of CO2 emissions from city water treatment machinery, along with emissions from trucking and pumping, resulting in an emissions reduction of 1230 metric tons of CO2 per year.
Through a Cambrian performance contract, known as the Water Energy Purchase Agreement (WEPA), Anheuser-Busch expects to reclaim nearly 100 million gallons of water each year.
In the WEPA model, Cambrian owns and operates its proprietary technology which alleviates the operations cost and burden to local plant operators as the company pays for the gallons of water treatment rather than costs of the facility. This model will save Anheuser-Busch massive amounts of upfront capital investments and shifts the risks associated with long-term operational maintenance to Cambrian. This agreement also ensures that specialized personnel are employed on-site to manage the ongoing lifecycle of the treatment facility.
Anheuser-Busch has previously made other commitments dedicated to furthering its global net-zero mission. Last year it invested $64 million at its Los Angeles brewery to install new solar panels as well as emissions-reduction technology, making it the largest solar installation of any brewery in the US.
Other breweries are also taking action in sustainability. Anchor Brewing in San Francisco recently added an on-site water treatment plant to its operations that has the capacity to recycle up to 20 million gallons annually, and Coors Light announced an $85 million investment into sustainable packaging, marking the beginning of its transition to fully recyclable and sustainably sourced cardboard-wrap carriers later this year.