Hold the food coloring for this “green” beer. At least until next year.
As part of its campaign for St. Patrick’s Day, Budweiser, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has instead pledged “enough Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to cover the estimated electricity used to brew beer in the U.S. in one day.”
The promotion also coincides with what, based on CDC guidelines, are supposed to be limited St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the U.S. as COVID-19 vaccination distribution continues.
“Budweiser is brewed with 100% renewable electricity from wind power [since 2019], something we are very proud of, and inspired us to think differently about what the definition of green beer truly means and how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a new way this year,” said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing at Budweiser
The 2019 wind power announcement, made in a surprising Super Bowl ad, also sparked the infamous corn-syrup tussle with competitors. It ultimately served to emphasize for the broader industry that unchecked climate change poses major risks to the agricultural and water demands of brewers.
At the time, environmentalists were generally pleased with the program because the popularity of the brand made the idea of renewable energy more mainstream. But they stressed that offsets must be understood to sometimes be separate from the actual energy needs at a given processing plant, which can derive power from mixed sources. The claims of businesses to “go green” are subjected to greater scrutiny as investors want global warming risks accounted for, and most food and beverage companies increasingly address sustainability measures in earnings calls and beyond.
In 2018, Anheuser-Busch launched a slate of sustainability goals covering renewable electricity and carbon reduction, water stewardship, smart agriculture and circular packaging.
Under a new campaign that it’s calling the Green Electricity Beer Bar, Anheuser-Busch is also working to brew all of its beers with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and says it is committed to sharing its approach with competitors.
Anheuser-Busch has committed to securing 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Its U.S.-traded ADRs are down nearly 11% in the year to date, though are up 63% over the past year. The S&P 500
is up 57% in the past year.