Prazdroj reduces carbon footprint by over 50%

25.6.2008 Company

Further savings will arise from converting waste biomass into fuel

During the first trading period of the National Allocation Plan (NAP I), Plzeňský Prazdroj managed to reduce carbon emissions by over 50% compared to the permitted amount, in spite of the ever-increasing production volume. The main economies were achieved through brewhouse modernization in the Pilsen brewery, which is now able to save up to 87% of emissions. When compared to Czech industry as a whole, with its average savings of 4% of emission allowances, this can be considered an exceptional success.

For the second period of the National Allocation Plan for the period 2008-2012 (Phase II), Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s. received only half of the allowances compared to the amount allocated in the previous period. Owing to the ongoing environmental projects and due to the investments made in previous years, this amount of allowances will be sufficient for Prazdroj in spite of the increase in production volume.

“In regards to Prazdroj´s long-term plans to increase beer export volumes, we are getting ready for a potential need for an increase in production without the necessity to buy additional allowances on the market. The objectives of our projects for the next four years will be transforming production biomass into fuel – either organic fuel or biogas – and its utilisation in so-called cogeneration units that will produce electrical energy and usable waste heat.”, says Petr Holeček, PPAS Environmental Protection manager.

Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s.´ breweries* were allocated a total of 39,370 allowances for each year of the first phase of the National Allocation Plan (NAP) for the period 2005-2007. Actual carbon dioxide production was approx. 18,000t p.a., which is equivalent to the consumption of 18,000 allowances per year. The surplus in allowances was achieved thanks to the ongoing projects aimed at reducing the carbon dioxide footprint in heat production.

Major savings originated from brewhouse modernization in the Pilsen brewery, which helped to reduce annual emissions by 87 %, from 15,000 tons to 2,000 tons of CO2. The construction of an anaerobic wastewater treatment plant in the Radegast brewery in Nošovice has reduced emissions from biogas processing by 6-8%, where the biogas is used as auxiliary fuel in the brewery boiler room. A similar contribution was due to the modernization of the wastewater treatment plant in the Velké Popovice brewery* where the biogas is usable as a heating medium for buildings and equipment in the wastewater treatment process.

Measures taken

Change in carbon emissions

Carbon emissions reduction

Brewhouse modernization
in Pilsen

15 000 to 2 000

87 % (approx.13 000 tun)

Anaerobic wastewater
treatment plant with biogas recovery in Nosovice

19 000 to 17 500

6-8 % (approx. 1 500 tun)

Plzeňský Prazdroj thus achieved a much greater success compared with all of Czech industry. Plants in the CR emitted a total of 244.1 m tons of CO2 during the NAP I period (82.7m tons in 2005, 83.7m tons in 2006, 77.7 m tons in 2007), although allowances were allocated for 292.8m tons (97.6 m tons per year), the economies thus reaching approx. 17 %. In spite of its increasing production volume, Prazdroj has managed to achieve a reduction in CO2 emitted of over 50 % against the volume allowed (118.110 tons allowed vs. 54,000 tons released).

Prazdroj sold its surplus in allowances, amounting to 55,000) in 2006 at auction and invested the money in further environmental protection activities. A tenth of the originally received amount had to be maintained as a reserve in order to cover any potential variations in production or current climatic conditions. However, Prazdroj managed to sell some of the allowances before the end of the first trading period.

Graph: Production-based Carbon emissions in the Nošovice and Plzeň breweries

Graf: Vyprodukované emise CO 2 v pivovarech Nošovice a Plzeň

For the second NAP period of 2008 – 2012, the carbon emission quota for the Czech Republic has been reduced by 11 % to 86.8m tons, which means that the country has granted a much lower number of allowances. Prazdroj thus received allowances that equal no more than 19,235 tons of carbon dioxide p.a. Owing to the ongoing environmental projects of past years, this amount of allowances will be sufficient for Prazdroj in spite of the increasing production, irrespective of the fact that the number of allowances is over 50% lower compared to the previous period.

* Two of Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s.´ breweries are involved in the allowances scheme – the Radegast brewery in Nosovice and the Plzeň brewery (the Velké Popovice brewery with its active input below 20MW does not come under the system of emission allowances).

Along with the care for water sources, wastewater treatment, recycling, energy conservation and increased transport efficiency, minimization of the carbon dioxide footprint and other greenhouse gases emissions is part of the sustainable development strategy of Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s.


Petr Holecek
Environmental Protection Manager
+420 377 062 809
+420 724 617 882

Jiri Marecek
+420 724 617 219

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  • With total sales of over 10.9 million hectolitres in the calendar year 2007 and exports to more than 55 countries around the world, Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s., is a major beer producer in the region and the largest exporter of Czech beer. The major brands in the Czech Republic include Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast, Velkopopovický Kozel and the non-alcoholic brand Radegast Birell.
  • The beer is brewed in three breweries in the Czech Republic – in the Pilsen brewers, the Radegast brewery and the Velké Popovice brewery.
  • The Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s. company is fully aware of its responsibility towards the environment and has adopted a policy of environmental protection as one of its business principles. This involves above all the care of water sources, wastewater treatment, minimization of its carbon footprint, recycling, energy conservation and increased transport efficiency.
  • Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s. is a member of the global group SABMiller plc., the world’s second largest brewer, with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
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