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Heineken Spain and Fertiberia launch a worldwide pioneering project to produce sustainable malting barley from green hydrogen.

The "Green Malt" project aims to reduce emissions in the cultivation of malting barley to almost zero thanks to the use of the first green fertilisers produced on a large scale by Grupo Fertiberia. Both companies have already begun field testing in Andalusia.

  • HEINEKEN Spain will become the first company to brew beer from malting barley with a very low carbon footprint, making significant progress in its Decidedly Green roadmap and its ambition to be carbon neutral throughout its value chain by 2040.
  • Grupo Fertiberia is the first company in the plant nutrition sector to produce green fertilisers on a large scale thanks to its Impact Zero line.
  • Used properly, these plant nutrition solutions produced on a large scale from green hydrogen can increase the quality and quantity of crops.

Madrid, 17 January 2023 HEINEKEN Spain and Grupo Fertiberia have sealed an alliance for the launch of 'Green Malt', a pioneering project worldwide that aims to minimise emissions produced in the cultivation of malting barley. A joint commitment to innovation, sustainable agriculture and the fight against climate change that translates into the largest international project of its kind currently in existence.

  • Both companies will promote the use of the world's first fertilisers produced on a large scale from green hydrogen, Fertiberia's Impact Zero sustainable plant nutrition solutions.
  • In addition, they will promote the use of the best technologies of agriculture 4.0 (digital and agronomic, among others), as they will be based on big data to achieve the most efficient application techniques. Soils from all over the country will be analysed to understand their composition and behaviour and create ad hoc nutritional solutions for each type of soil, as well as adjusting the dosage to optimise the harvest through precision agriculture and rational fertilisation.

The first sowings have already started in Andalusia and will be progressively extended to barley crops in the area. Specifically, this type of sustainable fertiliser improves the agronomic advantages that a conventional fertiliser can offer by incorporating additives that make it more efficient and is also free of CO2 emissions because natural gas is replaced by green hydrogen in the manufacturing process.

HEINEKEN Spain will thus become the first company to brew beer from malting barley with a very low carbon footprint. And its brands, including Heineken®, Cruzcampo, Amstel and El Águila, will be the first to bring this sustainable agricultural innovation to the Spanish market. Adding a new green advantage to the ingredients that give life to their beers, which are already locally sourced in 92% of the cases and come from certified sustainable crops in 78%.

"With Impact Zero, Grupo Fertiberia marked the beginning of a new stage in the production of emission-free plant nutrition solutions manufactured with the most innovative technology. The alliance with HEINEKEN Spain, one of the agri-food companies most committed to sustainability in the world, shows us that we are on the right path", says its CEO, Javier Goñi, for whom "both companies are leading together an initiative that demonstrates in the present what the agriculture of the future will be like."

In turn, Etienne Strijp, President of HEINEKEN Spain, emphasises: "Being carbon neutral throughout our value chain is a huge challenge, which we can only achieve if we work with partners as committed as Fertiberia. A leading company in its sector that helps us to make better use of natural resources and care for the environment while boosting the competitiveness of our farmers and contributing to writing a new chapter for the Spanish and even the world's countryside. This project has thus become a best practice for our Group."

This project represents a major step forward in the brewery's Decidedly Green roadmap and its ambition to be carbon neutral throughout its value chain (from the field to the consumer) by 2040. As does its objective of reducing these CO2e emissions by 30% by 2025, five years before the date it has set itself as a global company. To achieve this, aware that its production barely accounts for 9% of the total CO2e emissions of its activity, it is concentrating its efforts in Spain on the areas that have the greatest impact, such as packaging and agriculture.

Grupo Fertiberia is the ideal partner to meet this challenge. The company is capable of producing green plant nutrition solutions on a large scale to support a project of this magnitude. And it is the first company in its sector in the world to have committed to reducing its net emissions to zero by 2035. The key to achieving this goal lies in the production of fertilisers from renewable energy sources, a step that has already been taken at its Puertollano industrial centre, to be followed in the future by the rest of its plants in Spain (Palos de la Frontera, Avilés and Sagunto). 

More about the HEINEKEN Spain family

At HEINEKEN, we create moments of enjoyment that bring us together for a better world. Belonging to HEINEKEN NV, we are the most international brewery with a secret ingredient: local diversity. With more than 150 years of history, we have 85,000 employees in more than 70 countries, almost 1,400 of them in Spain, and a portfolio of 300 brands and 80 varieties worldwide. We offer great brands such as Heineken®, Cruzcampo, Amstel or El Águila. And others such as Desperados, the cider Ladrón de Manzanas, local brands such as 18/70 or El Alcázar, and specialities such as Guinness®, Paulaner, among others.

At HEINEKEN Spain we have been brewing beer for more than a century, where we currently have four breweries in Seville, Madrid, Valencia and Jaén, which produce more than 10 million hectolitres a year, or in other words, more than 10 million beers a day. We are Decidedly Greenand every day we work to make beers that the world will love, which is why we have a strong commitment to our social and environmental surroundings. We brew beers with renewable energies, thanks to the power of the sun: our aim is to achieve a 10 flavour, with zero emissions, giving back to nature the water it lends us, and to reduce our waste as much as possible. We are also committed to young talent and support the hospitality industry through our Cruzcampo Foundation and its School of Hospitality. At HEINEKEN we recommend responsible consumption of our brands.

More about Fertiberia

Grupo Fertiberia has over 1,600 employees and 14 industrial activity centres distributed all over the Iberian Peninsula and France.

The company's vision is to lead the green hydrogen value chain of the future in Europe to decarbonise agriculture and other sectors such as industry and transport, as well as to continue leading the development of sustainable, high added value solutions for crop nutrition.

Furthermore, it is the first company in its sector to have committed to reducing its net emissions to zero by 2035.

The company belongs to Triton Partners, which is driving its growth to make this Spanish company a leader in the fertilisation of the future. This will allow farmers to obtain greater yields with the highest level of environmental sustainability.

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