Green Brewery Goss

World’s first major carbon-neutral brewery

Austrian beer brand Gösser, owned by Heineken, stands for untouched nature and high quality ingredients, which is why producing in an environmentally and socially acceptable way is such a high priority. At the end of 2015 the Göss brewery, located in a community of 25 000 people, achieved its goal of becoming the first CO2 neutral brewery of its scale in the world. Beer is produced using only renewable energy, while CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have been reduced to zero.

The Green Brewery Göss project has taken innovation, investment and long-term commitment, and worked closely with the community. The project represents best practice within the brewing industry and within the Heineken company. The project aims fit within the Heineken-wide sustainability strategy entitled ‘Brewing a Better World’.

On the technical front, the goal was achieved by using electricity from hydropower, biomass district heating, solar thermal energy and renewable energy from a newly built beer grain fermentation plant. From 2016 onwards, around 18 000 tons a year of brewer’s grains, filter residues and other residues from beer production will be processed into biogas at the site’s new beer grain fermentation plant. Using brewer’s grain as substrate is unique and required a high level of innovation. This is the first plant of its kind at such a major brewery.

The project has resulted in an number of achievements:

  • Close to 40 % of the brewery’s heat requirement is met from waste heat discharged from the neighbouring Mayr-Melnhof sawmill
  • Around 90 % of the waste heat generated during the brewing process is used to heat water
  • A new type of boiling system is used during the brewing process, which helps to save electricity and water
  • A solar plant of 1500m² helps to generate environmentally-friendly energy
  • Thanks to the beer grain fermentation plant, no more fossil-based gas will be needed in production from May 2016 onward
  • Energy generated from brewery residues will be used to generate steam and any excess volumes will be converted into electric current
  • Residues from fermentation, a by-product of the new fermentation plant, will be used as a high-quality fertiliser
  • All raw materials used at the Göss Brewery come from Austria