Beer and crisps. Is this an answer to climate change? With the global push for net-zero carbon emissions targets, new technologies are emerging in the effort to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a major contributor to global warming – in the atmosphere. Some companies are trying to go ‘carbon neutral’, by utilising technologies that take in as much CO2 as is produced across their business operations and supply chain. Yet, some companies are taking it a step further by going ‘carbon negative’ – taking in more CO2 than their operations emit into the atmosphere.
One of the latest innovations in carbon-saving technologies, funded by a government grant, was developed by a start-up firm called CCm Technologies to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions produced in the production of fertiliser, beer and crisps. Walkers Crisps have recently pledged not only to reduce, but also reuse the CO2 emitted in their manufacturing processes with the help of CCm’s new carbon-saving technology. According to a BBC report, the carbon-removal technology will use the CO2 captured from beer fermentation in a brewery and mix it with potato waste to turn into enriched fertiliser. This will then be used on UK fields to feed the crops grown to make Walkers’ crisps. The fertiliser will provide vital nutrients and help to put carbon back into the soil. What’s more, an ‘anaerobic digester’ will feed potato waste to bacteria to produce methane, which is then burned to generate electricity for the crisp-manufacturing process.
This new technology is a great example of a circular system, where waste is turned into raw materials to be repurposed. Usually, the manufacture of fertiliser produces high CO2 emissions; therefore, Walkers’ new technology will be important in reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Not only will it reduce the amount of CO2 emissions typically generated by the manufacture of fertiliser, but the technology will also reduce CO2 emissions from brewing beer and reuse food waste. The fertiliser was trialled on potato seeds this year, and next year installation of the technology will commence at Walkers Leicester factory.
Walkers are yet to confirm which brewery they will work with.