Leading the way in green logistics
We have teamed up with leading Belgian retailer Delhaize to launch a ‘beer train’ that will remove the equivalent of 5000 lorries from Belgian roads every year when the project runs at full capacity.
The train will transport Jupiler by rail three times per week between our brewery in Jupille, and the Delhaize distribution centre in Ninove; previously a journey that would’ve been made every day by several lorries.
The first beer train arrived in Ninove on Tuesday 12 June. The success of this unusual project is down to the collaboration between partners across our value chain – Delhaize, transport company Remitrans, rail freight operator Lineas and the public authorities of the province of East Flanders. It’s a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to make a difference.
Alexander Soenen, Logistics Director here at AB InBev, said ‘The beer train is an example of how we lead the way in green logistics. Through our multimodal transport chain, we continuously look for the best combinations to deliver beer to our consumers in a sustainable way, without compromising on freshness and quality.
‘Fewer lorries on the roads mean less congestion and less carbon dioxide output. We have set ourselves the target of reducing total CO2 emissions by 15% by the end of 2017. This project will certainly make a contribution.’
We hope the beer train will be an example for other municipalities or companies who are looking for alternative and more sustainable modes of distribution.
Flemish Minister of Mobility, Ben Weyts, said ‘The beer train deserves to be copied. Companies don't have to stare blindly at traffic jams at their front doors: there are often excellent alternatives for the traffic jams at the back door, like waterways or railways. When partners work together and look at alternatives with an open mind, thousands of lorries can be removed from our roads.’
In 2014 we committed to a new global environmental goal to reduce our carbon emissions in logistics operations by 15% by the end of 2017. In Europe, we have since launched several green logistics initiatives to reduce energy usage and emissions in the supply and logistics process. For example, we began using river barges, known as the “beer boat”, instead of trucks to transport empty crates between our facilities in Leuven and Jupille. One monthly trip of a barge replaces 17 trucks carrying a total of 742,560 bottles by road, saving more than one fifth of the CO2 emissions.
Another example is the ecocombi initiative whereby, with our partner NinaTrans, two ‘super lorries’* replace three normal lorries travelling our regular distribution route between Leuven and the port of Antwerp. This enabled us to avoid 418 trips over 18 months and reduce related carbon emissions by 21%.
Climate change has far-reaching consequences for our business and the communities where we live and work, from water scarcity and energy constraints to reduced food security and increased health risks. Here at AB InBev, we are striving for a cleaner world where natural resources are shared and preserved for the future.
* Longer Heavier Vehicles – LHVs or super lorries are 25 meters long, weighing 60 tonnes. Standard lorries are allowed to be around 16 meters long and weigh 40 tonnes.