Carlsberg wins Global Industrial Water Reuse Award for reducing water consumption by 58% using DuPont CCRO technology

Carlsberg group — a multinational brewer leveraging water technologies from DuPont — was awarded the Global Industrial Water Reuse Champion Award for its water recycling plant and commitment to water reuse and recycling in its brewing processes.

Using DesaliTec closed circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO) technology as part of its total water management (TWM) treatment plant, Carlsberg reduced water consumption by 58.8% — or 500,000m3/year — eliminating wastewater from the water-intensive brewing process at its flagship brewery in Fredericia, Denmark.

The award programme was developed as part of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), a multi-stakeholder effort lead by the US Environmental Protection Agency to advance policy, research, and communications supporting water reuse and recycling

Carlsberg’s total water management system project, which recycles the non-ingredient water used for cleaning and other industrial processes, was led by the Belgian circular water specialists, Pantarein Water and included expertise from Dutch water treatment system designer Lenntech, DuPont Water Solutions, and Danish industrial pumps specialist Grundfos.

“As users of water in the food industry [and] at our brewery in Fredericia, we have taken a step with our new water system. This project has transformed water usage at the Fredericia brewery and turned it into probably the most water-efficient brewery in the world. It is also creating biogas, which covers 10% of the brewery’s total energy consumption,” said Andreas Kirketerp, manager of the total water management facility at Carlsberg’s Fredericia brewery.

By reusing 90% of all process water from production, the plant has reduced the average water consumption at the brewery from 2.9 hectolitres (hL) of water/hL of beer to 1.4hL of water/hL of beer. And after two years with its water recycling system, Carlsberg estimates that the brewery in Fredericia has saved approximately 1 billion litres of water.

The water recycling plant is developed through collaboration with the multistakeholder Danish partnership for resource and water-efficient industrial food production (DRIP). In DRIP, companies, technology providers, research institutes and health and food authorities have been working to rethink how to use and reuse water and expand the boundaries of water purification and circularity. Carlsberg and Grundfos were among others part of DRIP.

Fredericia has reportedly enabled progress towards Carlsberg’s ambition for zero water waste, a demonstration of the technology’s potential and a sourcing of learning and best practice for other breweries.

Biogas, a byproduct of the total water management facility, is used to heat on-site facilities and accounts for about 10% of the total amount of heat used at the Carlsberg Fredericia brewery, helping to improve the site’s sustainability profile and helping to reduce energy consumption.

The award was presented at the 2023 sustainability and circular economy summit in Washington by the US Chamber of Commerce, Veolia, University of Pennsylvania Water Centre, International Desalination Association (IDA), and the Water Reuse Association.

The Global Industrial Water Reuse Award recognises top Fortune 1000 companies that incorporate the water recycling and reuse programmes to improve water stewardship and achieve their water management goals.