Corporate Responsibility

The following is the Corporate Responsibility Report as published in the C&C Group’s 2014 Annual Report.


  • Total water usage reduced by 4.12% despite an increase in production volume of 1% in ROI and UK.
  • Water usage in the packaging hall at Wellpark reduced by 80% after the installation of a water recirculation system.
  • The Tennent’s Training Academy has now trained over 13,000 students for the Scottish pub and hospitality industry.
  • Charitable activities increased with national and local charities supported in the UK, ROI and the USA
  • Increased commitment to the responsible drinking agenda.
  • Through our leadership of the UK national association of cider makers, we helped secure an excise duty freeze in the UK.

Carrying out our business in a sustainable mannner


The Group operates a corporate responsibility and sustainability policy at the heart of which lies the desire to meet the demands of its stakeholders in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way as possible. This desire sits at one with the values of our organisation as sustainability not only reduces our costs but also reduces the impact our business has on the environment, and helps ensure a positive long-term future for the communities in which we operate.


Our energy reduction teams in each of the Group’s manufacturing facilities seek to reduce our impact on the environment. Each team looks at ways of reducing consumption of energy and raw materials, waste going to landfill and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also looks at ways of increasing transport efficiency and packaging optimisation. Each team reports monthly to the Group Operations Director, who reports through the Group Chief Executive Officer to the Board.

Compared with FY2013, energy used per hectolitre of product produced in our manufacturing sites at Clonmel, Shepton Mallet and Wellpark fell from 8.24 kWh/HL to 8.20 kWh/HL, although our overall electricity usage increased from 37.8 million kWh to 38.2 million kWh in line with the increased production at these sites. We have reduced our natural gas usage at these sites from 88.2 million kWh to 88.07 million kWh despite the rise in production volumes, and we remain committed to reducing our electricity and natural gas usage. To this end we have developed a reduction target of 11% by the end of FY2015, against FY2012 as a base year. A set of KPIs was introduced at the Gleeson sites in July 2013 to monitor energy consumption, which include electricity use, gas use and diesel used in its fleet of distribution vehicles. Our electricity usage in our manufacturing site in Vermont in FY2014 was 1.6 million kWh.

Our manufacturing sites at Clonmel and Shepton Mallet continue to be accredited with the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001; the facility at Clonmel also continues to be accredited to the Irish Energy Management Standard IS EN 16001:2009, and works closely with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). These standards require us to demonstrate the systematic management of energy leading to a decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our facilities at Wellpark and Shepton Mallet continued to meet their regulatory targets in FY2014, and they continue to avail of the UK Government’s small emitters opt out scheme. The Gleeson sites are not yet accredited to these standards but have their own environmental management system in place. At Clonmel 100% of the electricity provided by our electricity supplier comes from renewable sources.

In Vermont 40% of our electricity usage comes from renewable sources. 25% comes from a scheme known as “cow power” which generates electricity from cow manure using methane digestors on dairy farms (and has achieved a reduction in carbon equivalent to planting 1,000 acres of pine forest), and a further 15% of the electricity purchased comes from solar power.

At our new apple-crushing facility in Portugal environmental projects include improvement in storage of fuel for boilers and associated efficiency improvements. Improvements have been made in the effluent treatment works and in respect of storage and collection of attributed wastes.

Sustainable Logistics

FY2014 has seen a continuation of the focus on driving efficiencies in conjunction with our transport partners. During FY2014 our logistics partner in Scotland introduced a new tear-drop trailer design that has improved fuel efficiency by 5%. In another project, we have successfully trialled an exercise in Scotland with a major off-trade retailer, where we deliver products directly to their despatch centre, which will significantly reduce road mileage. We are also looking at rolling out similar projects to our other off-trade customers.


We continually benchmark our packaging weights and we are either ahead or on a par with industry standards on most packaging materials. Measures taken this year to reduce the weight of our packaging include increasing the stretch of the pallet shrink wrapping (meaning fewer wraps per pallet), which resulted in a 3% reduction in plastic used over the year, and down-gauging shrink wrap, which saves 10% on the volume of plastic used. This was established in Clonmel in FY2013 and was rolled out to Shepton Mallet and Wellpark in FY2014.

At Wellpark, we have introduced shrink wrap packaging to replace trays and boxes. This improves the appearance of our packaging and also reduces the weight of a typical case by approximately 14%. At our Gleeson manufacturing sites we are trialling light-weight PET bottles. One of our main PET preforms (which are blown into full size bottles) has been reduced in weight from 44g to 41g. This will result in an annual saving of PET plastic of 76 tonnes.

Between 60% and 70% of the glass used in our bottles is recycled, and this is increasing. We have taken part in the Packaging Recycling Group Scotland where, alongside our work with Resource Efficient Scotland, we aim to make further advances in the recycling of packaging. This involved a detailed analysis of packaging throughout our supply chain.

At Vermont our cardboard packaging is made from 100% recycled materials, and over 113 tonnes of waste packaging was recycled in FY2014. There is also a policy of reusing materials on site, which includes using shredded paper for packing samples.

Another project completed in FY2014 for our international business is the introduction of new non-returnable polyethylene kegs, which are recycled by approved recycling operators in the country of destination. This eliminates international transportation of empty steel kegs back to the UK and ROI, and will significantly reduce the Group’s overall carbon footprint.

Carbon Consumption

The Group continuously monitors the impact of its operations on the climate and we look to reduce our GHG emissions. We assess and manage climate change related risks and opportunities, including the impact on the availability and security of our sources of raw materials, such as aquifers, orchards and maltings.

The Group has participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain Programme for a number of years, and CO2 emissions for the Group are evaluated annually and posted on the CDP website at In the CDP Ireland Report 2012 (which is the most recently available report), the Irish CDP respondents’ average disclosure score was 78%; the Group scored 96% and was second in the consumer staples sector. The CDP Ireland Report 2013 report will include data from Gleeson sites for the first time.

Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions in FY2014 are broken down across our manufacturing sites as follows:

Clonmel: 7,732t
Shepton Mallet: 8,515t
Wellpark: 18,123t
Other offices: 1,008t
Vermont: 1,240

Reductions in can wall thickness, significantly reducing the carbon footprint

CO2 emissions for our Gleeson sites will be included next year.

In ROI and the UK, through our commitment to rural development, we support orchard growers who manage over 2,000 hectares of orchards for apples used directly in the production of our cider.

Each year we ensure compliance with national packaging regulations for our products placed into the marketplace. In the UK the actual sale volume of packaging recycled in the calendar year 2013, saved over 1,459 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In ROI we also recovered and recycled 2,259 tonnes of CO2 produced by the cider fermentation process and used it to carbonate our products.

We have also installed a solar power facility in Vermont, which was developed through All Earth Renewables. Dubbed the “Solar Orchard”, this has produced 239,345 kWh of electricity in FY2014.


We have systems in place to maximise the recycling of the waste that we produce and minimise what we send to landfill. Our ultimate goal is to recycle or recover for reuse 100% of our process waste products. In FY2014, our manufacturing sites at Clonmel, Shepton Mallet and Wellpark reduced the overall amount of waste sent to landfill by 6%.

At Clonmel our recovery and recycling rate was 100%, and we sent no waste to landfill as all non-recycled waste was converted to RDF (refuse derived fuel).

At Shepton Mallet our recovery and recycling rate was 86%; the amount of waste sent to landfill in FY2014 rose to 66 tonnes (from 50 tonnes in FY2013) due to major civil projects at the plant. In FY2015 the site will be sending any residual waste to an RDF facility thereby diverting all waste away from landfill.

Wellpark Brewery

At Wellpark no waste is sent directly to landfill. The amount of waste sent by our third party waste management contractor to landfill dropped from 70 tonnes in FY2013 to 47 tonnes in FY2014, a 33% reduction, and as of January 2014 we now (in close collaboration with our waste management provider) divert all waste at Wellpark from landfill to an RDF facility. We have also continued our project with Zero Waste Scotland to identify waste reduction opportunities along our supply chain.

At Gleeson’s Borrisoleigh site, the average amount of waste sent to landfill was 38 tonnes per month for the first six months of FY2014, which we reduced to an average of 11 tonnes per month for the last six months of FY2014. We intend to reduce this yet further in FY2015. In Vermont there is a recycling programme for all industrial waste materials.


At all the Group’s manufacturing sites, water preservation and management is an important business consideration and we continue to monitor the usage of water per hectolitre of finished product from each manufacturing facility and across our supply chain.

Each year the Group participates in the CDP Water Disclosure initiative in ROI and the UK. The results of the 2012 CDP report (which is the most recently available report) are available on the CDP website. The 2013 CDP report (due out later this year) will also include water usage from the Gleeson manufacturing sites.

In FY2014, despite production volumes increasing, our total water usage at our Clonmel, Shepton Mallet and Wellpark sites dropped from 17.08 million hectolitres to 16.4 million hectolitres, equivalent to 3.53 hectolitres of water used per hectolitre (hl/hl) of product produced, a significant reduction on last year’s rate of 3.69 hl/hl and significantly better than the recognised brewing benchmark of 4 hl/hl.

Our aquifer protection programmes in Clonmel and Borrisoleigh have resulted in us retaining our successful accreditation to the Irish IS 432:2005 standard at both sites. Across the Group, we continue with our projects on brewery condensate recovery, reclaiming pasteuriser and bottle rinse water, fruit processing, and minimising plant and process cleaning systems, and in FY2014 we recovered and reused just under 255,000 m3 of biogas from our anaerobic waste water treatment plant in Clonmel for use as fuel for our boilers.

A project successfully implemented in the packaging hall at Wellpark has stopped water being drained away after use in the pasteuriser; instead the waste water is cooled and then recycled through the process again and again. This has resulted in a reduction in water use of 80%.


The implementation of our sustainable and ethical procurement policy is monitored by the Board via the Group Operations Director, and each business unit is required to demonstrate compliance with this policy by providing access to its audit and review records, its procedure manuals and its staff training materials for audit purposes.

Our central teams in procurement and technical services actively audit our suppliers’ track record in environmental management, health and safety, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

We proactively audit and approve our existing supplier base after reviewing responses to a supplier approval questionnaire. This questionnaire specifically asks for details in the management of environmental, health and safety, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

We seek to support our suppliers through entering into long term supply arrangements with our suppliers of apples and barley, our key raw materials.

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