Labatt Breweries of Canada investing almost half a billion dollars in sustainability programs, reducing waste

Capital investment program signals commitment to local communities and Canada's economic recovery
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TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2021 – When you think about sustainability and the climate crisis as a whole, Canadians understand that we need corporate collaboration on massive scales for things to work. Climate change ranks as one of the highest stress triggers in society while news about the world’s environmental collapse is found daily in social media and news feeds. A survey across 10 countries led by Bath University in collaboration with five universities found that nearly 60% of young people approached said they felt very worried or extremely worried with three-quarters of them believing the future was frightening. Over half (56%) think humanity is doomed.

Labatt Breweries of Canada says it will be fuelling Canada’s economic recovery and promoting its own path to sustainability with a direct injection of $461.5 million through its capital program focused on sustainability, innovation and production enhancements. The goal is to invest in areas that will have significant impact on its breweries and operations across the country and heavily impact the operations of one of Canada’s larger employers.

Labatt says that Canada and the local communities will benefit from upgrades and expansions that will help make their operations more sustainable – from reducing plastic use to energy and water savings.

In September 2015, Canada and all other 192 United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN General Assembly. This initiative is a global call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The 2030 Agenda presents Canada, and the world, with the opportunity to grow sustainably and inclusively to the shared benefit of all. The Canadian government launched Moving Forward Together – Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, to implement the 2030 Agenda and make progress on the SDGs in Canada and abroad.

On the heels of the Canadian and global effort large employers and industries are moving their business operations to more sustainable models. Mars Wrigley Canada recently announced that Mars Bars sold in Canada will be certified carbon neutral by January 1st, 2023. to become the first carbon neutral chocolate bar to appear on Canadian shelves that is produced by a top 5 confectionery company.

“We all know how challenging the past 18 months have been for our country. This important investment is a commitment to our communities and to our people, ensuring they have the resources needed to do what they do best so Labatt can contribute to Canada now and for years to come. It will allow us to reduce our environmental footprint and enable our breweries for future growth as we continue to meet the changing needs and tastes of Canadians and work toward our global sustainability goals.”

Jeff Ryan, VP Legal & Corporate Affairs, Labatt Breweries of Canada

A major part of the investment is the introduction of the KeelClip packaging system – a minimal material fastener solution made of recyclable fibre paperboard – at Labatt’s London and Montreal breweries. The high-tech, automated system is the first of its kind in North America and will replace the use of plastic rings, tops and shrink film, reducing the company’s overall single-use plastic usage in early 2022 by nearly 152,000kg. This weight is equivalent to removing 117 mid-sized cars from the landfill. Labatt aims to reduce 242,000 kg of single-use plastic by 2024.

Labatt’s Vancouver, Creston, Halifax, and St. John’s breweries will also benefit from the capital investment. This will include technology and equipment upgrades that will drive production and environmental efficiencies and prepare the breweries for future growth. Non-brewery investments will benefit provincial operations such as technology and warehousing enhancements, and commercial initiatives.

About Labatt’s 2019-2022 Capital Program

Labatt’s capital program includes $461.5 million being invested over 2019-2022 throughout its operations across Canada, broken down by province as follows:

  • $145 million will be invested in Ontario with $52.6 million going directly into the London brewery for major initiatives such as KeelClip, and a new state-of-the art can line that increases packaging flexibility and supports product innovation.
  • $110 million will be invested in Quebec with $43.7 million going directly into the Montreal brewery
  • $38 million will be invested in British Columbia with $4.6 million going directly into the Creston brewery’s warehouse expansion and upgrades and $2.9 million going into brewing enhancements at Vancouver’s Turning Point Brewery.
  • $25.2 will be invested in Nova Scotia with $11 million going directly into the Oland Brewery in Halifax for equipment and process improvements including a new leading-edge pasteurizer – a one-of-a-kind in North America.
  • $9.9 million will be invested in Newfoundland with $2.8 million going directly into the St. John’s brewery for two new modular boilers that are up to 80 per cent more efficient, and other upgrades and enhancements.
  • $119 million will be invested into Alberta, with $69 million going directly into the Edmonton brewery for new equipment, technology and upgrades, new warehouse space, and a 30,000 square-foot ready-to-drink building to support expanded brewing type and capacity, all of which will result in job creation.
Labatt will start using the KeelClip packaging system – a minimal material fastener solution made of recyclable fibre paperboard at its London and Montreal breweries

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