Japan: Four leading brewers combine distribution to combat air pollution

Asahi Breweries, Kirin Brewery, Sapporo Beer Company and Suntory Beer Company have joined forces in an unprecedented action to combat air pollution and to reduce annual CO2 emissions. The four leading brewers, whose beers can be found in almost every bar, supermarket, and convenience store in Japan, have agreed to distribute their products across the country by using the same long-distance truck and train transportation.

A joint statement of the four brewers reads as follows: “Kirin Brewery, Sapporo Beer Company, Suntory Beer Company, and Asahi Breweries Co., Ltd. are committed to protecting the environment against greenhouse gases, which are increasingly a concern around the world. For this reason, we have created this joint development of sustainable logistics. We will continue to contribute to a more sustainable society by building a cooperative framework beyond the existing viewpoint of competition and cooperation.”

“Through this effort, we estimate that all four companies can secure a long-distance transport capacity equivalent to 2,400 heavy-duty trucks by rail container,” Suntory says in a report. “Annual CO2 emissions can be reduced by about 1,500t (about 74% compared to conventional models).”

The environmental aspect seems to be only one of the reasons of the cooperation: The lack of manpower and rising costs incurred by long-distance shipping are also important factors behind the move.

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