How Adnams is setting the sustainability standard for brewing

Award-winning UK brewer, distiller, retailer and pub owner Adnams is a purpose-led, values-driven organisation. Andy Wood OBE, Chief Executive Officer, explains brewing award-winning beer can be done without costing the earth. 

Why has your business chosen to be supplied by renewable electricity?

We are a purpose led and values driven organisation and that’s why we work with SmartestEnergy. SmartestEnergy gives us the opportunity to purchase 100% renewable energy which helps us to offset 25% of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We feel that being sustainable enables companies such as us to be more resilient.

How does it fit into your wider sustainability strategy?

We focus on four key sustainability areas - biodiversity, waste, water and carbon are the pillars of our environmental management strategy. Buying renewable energy reduces our carbon footprint and is part of our overall strategy.

We also have an anaerobic digester onsite that creates biomethane that we feed back into the grid. We’ve introduced a honey bees and a flora and fauna to drive biodiversity on the site of our distribution centre and a recently renewed infrastructure reduces the amount of water we use in our production process.

Do you believe your sustainable approach benefits your business?

Adnams has moved to being a business that wants to tread lightly on the earth. We are recognised in our sectors as leader and are a preferred supplier to some of the largest retailers in the UK. Without our focus on sustainability that would not have happened. Sustainability has become an intrinsic part of our brand.

Last year we organised our inaugural supply chain conference for some of our 1000 suppliers. We heard that our suppliers see us as sustainability leaders and would like a metaphorical badge for their shop windows to show they are working with us. We are humbled by this and it shows that we have real impact by leading by example.

How are customers and staff involved?

Recent scandals have helped diminish trust in business. By doing the right thing and sharing and telling one authentic story that resonates with the customers, we can help to rebuild that trust and loyalty. Running our business on renewable energy is part of that mix.

Environmental awareness is also embedded amongst our teams. Carbon for example is a proxy for waste. Waste costs money so whilst we may have spent some capital eliminating waste we save over the medium and long term.

Did the cost of renewable electricity impact your purchasing decision?

Adnams’ purpose and values run deeper than a few pounds, important though finance is. The reason why we purchase renewable energy is that we believe it will be a lower cost solution over the long term and we need to see capacity enter the market to see that happen.

Why did you choose to work with SmartestEnergy?

We chose SmartestEnergy because they came highly recommended and their Ipswich office is local to us. We feel it important to help retain and grow jobs in our local area.

Adnams is proud to champion sustainable business and sustainable living. Our company values are rooted in making great products that won’t cost the earth. Buying renewable energy from SmartestEnergy helps as part of our journey towards a sustainable future.

How important is SmartestEnergy's Carbon Trust certification?

Independent verification is hugely important to us. We don’t want to green-wash and we do due diligence on all our suppliers. We have been working with the Carbon Trust throughout most of their existence and have been beneficiaries of awards from them. The Carbon Trust gives us the reassurance that SmartestEnergy is doing the right thing. It’s a tick in the right box for us.

> Visit the Adnams website to learn more about their sustainability commitments 

> Find out more about our certified renewable electricity