Carlsberg halves its water usage at brewery

Carlsberg water plant

The Carlsberg brewery in Fredericia, Denmark, will construct a new water plant to recycle 90% of all process water. (Photo / digital visualization).

NIRAS is an integral part of a water saving project that enables Carlsberg Brewery in Fredericia, Denmark, to recycle 90% of all process water and halve its overall water usage. The brewery is the most water efficient production plant in the Carlsberg Group.

February 11, 2021
  • SDG: #6, #9
  • SECTORS: Food & Beverage
  • COUNTRIES: Denmark
  • CLIENT: Carlsberg
  • DURATION: 2019-2021

Carlsberg celebrates the 40th anniversary of its Fredericia Brewery in Denmark by taking a big step into the future. The construction of a new water recycling plant makes it one of the most water efficient large breweries in the world. The new recycling plant also makes it Carlsberg’s first brewery to virtually eliminate water waste.

With the assistance of NIRAS’ experts, Carlsberg has taken an important step towards fulfilling its ambition to secure zero water waste at its breweries, including a target to halve the overall water usage. The new plant reduces average water consumption at the brewery from 2.9 hl of water per hl of beer to 1.4 hl of water per hl of beer.

Learning platform for Carlsberg breweries worldwide

The Carlsberg brewery in Fredericia, Denmark, was selected as a test site for the Carlsberg Group’s first total water recycling plant. According to Philip Hodges, Executive Vice President for Supply Chain in the Carlsberg Group, the water recycling plant represents a big, but also necessary investment.

“By recycling 90% of all process water, the Fredericia brewery halves its current average water consumption for brewing beer, taking it below our 2030 target,” says Philip Hodges to The Carlsberg Group’s website.

Phillip Hodges states that the Fredericia brewery has consistently focused on resource management and water reduction, but there is a need to use more advanced water recycling technologies to reach the ambitious targets in Carlsberg’s ‘Together Towards ZERO Programme’. The intention is that Fredericia brewery will serve as a learning platform for all of Carlsberg breweries worldwide.

New innovative approach

“In NIRAS we are very proud to have been part of this groundbreaking project that helps to set new standards in The Carlsberg Group. We have an excellent cooperation with Carlsberg and we are proud to have managed this whole project,” says Søren Nøhr Bak, Expertise Director at NIRAS.

Søren Nøhr Bak sees the construction of the new water recycling plant as a major technical achievement that has a huge impact on the sustainable use of water and energy in one of the world’s largest brewery groups.

“The total water recycling plant at Carlsberg’s brewery represents a new innovative approach to safe reuse of rinsed process water, and the project introduces new technologies to improve water efficiency, building on the long-standing tradition of cooperation with Danish environment and food safety authorities as well as leading Danish universities,” says Søren Nøhr Bak.

Sustainability tool

NIRAS’ tool SDG Initiator can help companies within the Food & Beverage sector to achieve their SDG targets. At the same time SDG Initiator can help reduce costs on water, utilities and other resources.

NIRAS’ SDG Initiator builds on many years of experience. NIRAS has carried out more than 100 audits on water reduction and water processing for food & beverage companies worldwide.

Facts about Carlsberg’s new water recycling plant

The new water recycling plant at Carlsberg’s Brewery in Fredericia, Denmark, reduces the water usage from 2,9 hectoliters to 1,4 hectoliters pr. hectoliter of beverage produced at the brewery.

On a global level, Carlsberg’s aim is to halve its water usage from 3,4 hectoliters to 1,7 hectoliters pr. hectoliter of beverage produced. The plant was finished in the spring of 2021.

Carlsberg opened Fredericia Brewery on September 25, 1979. NIRAS was involved in the construction of the brewery through the company DanBrew that since has become a part of NIRAS.

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Søren Nøhr Bak

Søren Nøhr Bak

Senior Expertise Director - Water & Sustainability

Aarhus, Denmark

+45 2025 7033

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