Budweiser, the AB/InBev brand famous for clydesdales, Americana, and watery beer, is boosting its sustainable bona fides with a new renewable energy initiative.
Back in 2021, the company announced that it had financed enough renewable energy projects to offset the power needed to brew all of its domestic beer.
Now, it's using its corporate muscle to develop renewable energy projects for the bars, clubs, restaurants, and stadiums that sell the company's beer in an effort to make them green as well.
Announced ahead of the Earth Day extravaganza, Budweiser's Energy Collective initiative has already converted about 2,000 pubs in Brazil and Ireland to renewable energy.
In Brazil, Budweiser's working with Lemon Energy, a startup that's providing renewable energy developments to offset fossil fuels for businesses in the country.
The goal is to convert 250,000 businesses to renewable electricity by 2025. That would reduce 36,375 tons of carbon emissions -- the equivalent of removing nearly 8,000 cars from the road.
"Consumers crave a better world where the things they love are sustainable. The Energy Collective is helping facilitate the powering of things people love with renewable electricity, while helping close the gap between what consumers want and what companies can do," said Todd Allen, Vice President Global Marketing at Budweiser. "We're just getting started. Our bold dream is that every bar, venue and stadium in the world that serves Budweiser would be powered by renewable electricity."
The strategy pays dividends for the bar owners as well. Energy bills are one of the highest costs for bars, so switching to renewables can actually save bar owners money and help keep other costs down -- like the cost of beer, which could be impacted by both climate change and the ongoing war in Ukraine (a chief supplier of grains globally).
"When Budweiser decided to brew beer with renewable electricity, we knew there was so much more we could be doing in the renewable space as a global brand. Launching The Energy Collective allows us to help businesses around the world, leveraging our scale to enable our customers to obtain more sustainable power at more affordable rates," said Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer at AB InBev, in a statement.
For now, Budweiser's running the program in Ireland and Brazil, but the company plans to expand to Colombia later this year and will look to bring its renewable energy scheme to the UK, Chile, and Uruguay in coming years.
"By being connected to renewable electricity via local providers through The Energy Collective, I've already been able to reduce my monthly electricity costs by about 10 percent," said Will Morgan, General Manager of Jerry Flannery's in Limerick, Ireland, in a statement. "It's also been a conversation starter with many of my customers to discuss the importance of renewable electricity and creating a brighter future for us all."