ESG results for 2023 and outlook for 2024

We continued our sustainability journey in 2023 with efforts to reduce our sustainability/ESG footprint and potential impacts. We are on track on achieving our overall KPIs on consumers and customers, our products and our people.

Volume growth of no/low products (products with no or low sugar/calories or no or low alcoholic content)  significantly outperformed regular products, and we reached our goal of allocating 40% of our marketing budget to brands/campagins with a sustainability position.

The overall increase in consumption of energy and water was 6% and 5%, respectively, in 2023 driven by acquisitions. Organically, the consumption remained unchanged. The absolute CO2 emission from production on the other hand was reduced by 2% in 2023, corresponding to a 9% organic reduction. Thus, we start to see the effect of the transition from fossil-based energy to renewable energy.

We are well underway to achieve our 100% CO2 emission free target by 2025 for scope 1 and 2 excl. logistics. 44% of our energy consumption was based on renewable energy in 2023. We produce and consume 100% renewable electricity. We have plans supported by capex in place for all our production sites, except the latest acquisitions in Italy and the Netherlands where we accept a short grace period.  Effects of heat pumps, biobased or electrical boilers and further efficiencies will already reduce emissions in 2024.

Our CO2 reduction targets for scope 1, 2 and 3 are aligned with the 1.5°C trajectory of the Paris Agreement and were approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) in 2023. We have submitted our FLAG targets, zero deforestation commitment and 2040 net zero targets for SBTi approval in 2024.

We are gradually expanding our decarbonization journey to the entire value chain. Scope 3 emissions in 2023 were at level with our 2019 base year. However, the contribution from packaging materials was reduced by approximately 4% with a significant organic reduction of 16% driven by increased recycled content of cans and less glass bottles consumed.

We achieved 96% recycled, recyclable or reusable packaging in 2023, and therefore we are on track toward our target of 100% recycled, recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. We are investing in more filling lines, where cardboard will replace consumption of plastic-based shrink film.

We are still challenged on our safety culture, where we have too many lost time incidents. Our Employee Engagement Score has declined slightly, where as our sustainability culture remains strong. Morningstar-Sustainalytics scored Royal Unibrew as Industry Top Rated in our sector beer, wine and spirits in 2023, proving that we are on the right path of balancing impacts, risks and opportunities with a sound financial performance.


Decarbonization at two major production sites

Our biogas plant in Lahti, Finland and solar park in Faxe, Denmark were inaugurated in Q2 2023. Thus, we have transformed our fossil-based thermal energy to 100% bio-based energy utilizing our spent grain from production in Finland, and in Denmark our solar park delivers renewable energy corresponding to approximately 40% of the power consumption at the production facility. Furthermore, a new heat pump will be fully operational in Faxe in the beginning of 2024, reducing the thermal energy consumption by approximately 30% (CO2 emission by 25%).