Corporate Responsibility

The following is the Corporate Responsibility Report as published in the C&C Group’s 2013 Annual Report.

Reducing the impact that our business has on the environment

Carrying out our business in a sustainable mannner


The Group aims to meet the needs of its stakeholders in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. We operate a Group-wide corporate responsibility and sustainability policy. Sustainability not only reduces our costs but also reduces the impact that our business has on the environment.


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 emissions, and also looks at ways of increasing transport efficiency and packaging optimisation. Each team reports monthly to the Group Manufacturing Director, who reports through the Group Chief Executive Officer to the Board.

Compared with FY2012, we have reduced our electricity usage by over 3%, and we have reduced our natural gas usage by 4.5%. We are committed to further reducing our electricity and natural gas usage and we remain on track to achieve our energy reduction target of 11% by the end of FY2015, against FY2012 as a base year.

Annual targets are established across all manufacturing sites to monitor and direct energy usage, water consumption and effluent discharge, and awareness training ensures that all personnel are familiar with our environmental policy and our business’s environmental impact.

Our cider manufacturing facilities 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 continue to meet their regulatory targets, and operated within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme up until the end of 2012 when they took advantage of the UK government’s small emitters opt out scheme (see further below). As members of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), we participate in energy reduction initiatives, surveys and seminars.

The Group put a new energy management system into Shepton Mallet in June 2012 to measure and manage gas, electricity and water usage. This also resulted in a 24% reduction in CO2 usage in our manufacturing processes between December 2012 and February 2013.

A proposal for a new 800KW wind turbine on the Clonmel site is now at the planning stage and, if installed, is planned to provide 25% of Clonmel’s electricity usage, which will act as a hedge against future energy price rises and further reduce CO2 emissions.

Our cidery in Vermont switched to efficient lighting and water systems in the early 2000’s. In 2010 it invested in Vermont’s Cow Power programme, which turns manure into energy, and from which the cidery has received 25% of its power over the last three years. It is also in the process of constructing a 1.5 acre solar power facility which, when operational, is expected to provide an additional 10% to 15% of its power usage.

Sustainable Logistics

FY2013 has seen a continuation of the focus on driving efficiencies in conjunction with our transport partners. We have sustained an average of 26 pallets per load on movements from Clonmel to our National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Bristol and have increased the average pallets per load from 22 to 22.4 on deliveries from Shepton Mallet and the NDC to customers within GB. In addition, we have engineered a number of key changes to our ways of working, which include:

  • 322 new direct shipments from Clonmel to GB Customers, saving 64,400 miles and 87 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the year
  • Two new backhaul agreements with key strategic GB customers enabling them to better utilise their fleet and reduce overall road trips
  • Contract kegging agreements in Italy, USA, Australia and Canada, saving over 781,000 miles and 1,050 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the year
  • New improved process for storing returning kegs from Australia and USA more efficiently (honeycombing) saving over 155,000 miles and 208 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the year.


We continue to look for ways to reduce the weight of our packaging. 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 and less material used across all manufacturing sites, 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 will be rolled out to Shepton Mallet and Wellpark in FY2014.

Between 60%-70% of the glass used in our bottles is recycled and this is increasing. Another project planned for FY2014 is a new non-returnable keg which will be recycled at its destination location and which eliminates international transportation of empty kegs back to the UK and ROI. This will significantly reduce the Group’s carbon footprint.

Carbon Consumption

The Group continuously monitors the impact of its operations on the climate and we look to reduce our 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. Further information on the CDP, including a copy of the CDP Ireland Report 2012, is available at In CDP Ireland Report 2012, the Irish CDP respondents’ average disclosure score was 78%, the Group scored 96% and was second in the consumer staples sector. Our incentive scheme provides financial rewards to all employees, based on successful achievement of a range of targets at both site and overall Group levels.

Reductions in can wall thickness, significantly reducing the carbon footprint

In the ROI and the UK, through our rural development commitment and by supporting orchard growers who manage over 2,000 hectares of orchards for apples used in the production of our cider, in FY2013 we offset 22,090 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and helped to preserve the biodiversity of these regions.

Our cidery in Vermont participates in the American Forests programmes, and has planted 7,311 trees this year and a total of 42,033 trees in the last four years to offset its carbon emissions.

Each year we ensure compliance to national packaging regulations for our products placed into the marketplace. In the UK the actual sale volume of packaging recycled in the calendar year 2012 saved over 1,450 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In ROI we also recovered and recycled approximately 2,132 tonnes of CO2 produced by the cider fermentation process and used it to carbonate our products.

In 2012 the UK Government offered small carbon emitters the opportunity to “opt out” from the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from the beginning of 2013 to 2020 as part of the UK Government’s efforts to cut down on red tape. Small emitters account for 1% of the UK’s EU ETS emissions and this opt out scheme could save the industry up to £80 million in administrative costs from now until 2020. Our two manufacturing sites at Shepton Mallet and Wellpark along with around 250 other eligible facilities opted out of the EU ETS for this period and will have an industry sector-specific emission reduction target.


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 waste products. In FY2013, our manufacturing sites reduced the overall amount of waste sent to landfill by over 30%.

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% and the amount of waste sent to landfill dropped from 57 tonnes in FY2012 to 50 tonnes in FY2013, a 12% reduction. In addition a can wastage reduction project has brought can wastage down to 0.7% of all cans used, and specialist training completed on our cardboard case packers has further reduced packaging waste.

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 115 tonnes in FY2012 to 70 tonnes in FY2013, a 39% reduction. We also commenced a project with Zero Waste Scotland in January 2013 to identify waste reduction opportunities along our supply chain, and it will involve our suppliers and customers as partners in the project.

In Vermont there is a recycling programme for all industrial waste materials. More detailed data will be included for FY2014.


The Group’s manufacturing sites are not located in any region identified as prone to drought, and water scarcity is not considered to be a critical risk for our business. Nevertheless, water preservation and management is an important business consideration for the Group and we continue to monitor the usage of water per hectolitre of finished product from each manufacturing facility and across our supply chain.

This year the Group participated in the 2012 CDP Water Disclosure initiative. The results of the report are available on the CDP website.

In FY2013, our total water usage in UK and ROI was 17.08 million hectolitres, equivalent to 3.69 hectolitres of water used per hectolitre (hl/hl) of product produced, which is significantly better than the recognised global brewing benchmark of 4 hl/hl.

Our continuing aquifer protection programme in Clonmel has resulted in us retaining our successful accreditation to the Irish IS 432:2005 Spring Water standard. 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 FY2013 we recovered and reused over 270,000m3 of biogas from our anaerobic waste water treatment plant in Clonmel for use as fuel for our boilers.


The implementation of our sustainable and ethical procurement policy is regularly monitored by the Board via the Group Manufacturing 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 received back from a supplier approval questionnaire. This questionnaire specifically asks for details in the management of environmental, health and safety, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Reviewing of supplier responses is a function of our central teams in procurement and technical services.

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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