Diageo Plc’s East Africa unit is using macadamia husks, sugar bagasse and coffee and rice hulls to produce electricity at factories in Kenya and Uganda, bringing it closer to net zero eight years ahead of schedule.
East African Breweries Plc, which contributes around 1% of Kenya’s gross domestic product, had a 2030 target to run on renewable energy. It’s already at 97%, surpassing its 95% target, according to a sustainability report released Wednesday.
By burning agricultural waste supplied by farmers to generate steam, the brewery produces enough power to allow it to balance the greenhouse gases produced by its other activities, according to CEO Jane Karuku. It has similar plans for a factory in Moshi, Tanzania, she said in an interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
In Kenya, its plants generate enough power to help reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 95%, or 34,000 tons per year, according to the sustainability report. Biomass is a green energy source and its emissions are 95% lower than those of fossil fuels, according to the EABL.
EABL’s home market, Kenya, prides itself on sourcing over 90% of its energy from renewables, including hydro, geothermal, wind and solar.
The East African nation currently has an installed capacity of 3,081 megawatts, of which 949 megawatts are geothermal and 838 megawatts are hydroelectric. The use of biomass for electricity is relatively nascent in the nation, where some manufacturers are turning to green sources for backup during frequent outages, rather than using expensive diesel generators.
“All the employees are working very hard to develop the retrograde supply chains because biomass is not very developed,” Karuku said.
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