Heineken is set to begin transporting its beer for export along Dutch canals as part of a joint project aimed at demonstrating the benefits of using low carbon barge transportation.
The brewing giant has teamed up with distributor Nedcargo and marine biofuels firm GoodFuels for a pilot project that will see Heineken lager transported from its brewery in Zoeterwoude to the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam in preparation for shipping abroad.
Running on GoodFuels’ low emission marine fuel, which uses 30 per cent biofuel, the inland 104 TEU barge carrying the beer is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent, while also “sharply” cutting air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.
The precise emission reduction achieved through the project, which is supported by the Dutch ministry of transport and the Dutch expertise and innovation centre on inland navigation, EICB, is to be monitored live remotely during the pilot using Dutch data firm Blueco’s Konnexus system, Heineken said.
The beer firm said the pilot would showcase emissions reduction along inland waterways without requiring any modification of the vessel, and potentially “paves the way” for further improvements in low carbon maritime transport across the sector.
Pieter van Kooten, manager of projects and sustainability at Heineken, said it was the firm’s ambition for its Zoeterwoude brewery to become carbon neutral, and that the barge project demonstrated the company was “well on the way to achieving this”.
“The logistical process is an important part of our sustainability ambition as well, and together with our partners Nedcargo and GoodFuels we are now taking an important step to realising a green corridor between our brewery in Zoeterwoude and the port of Rotterdam, from where we transport our beer around the world,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Dutch brewing company announced it was on track to meet its climate targets with a 37 per cent cut in CO2 emissions from its production between 2008 and 2015.
Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO of GoodFuels, added: “This initiative paves the way for further shippers like Heineken to make a real, direct impact to dramatically reducing CO2 and local emissions from both waterway and seaborne maritime transport – sectors where sustainable biofuel has been earmarked to play a significant role.”