Water scarcity and the urgent need for responsible water management have become significant challenges in today’s world – and by that the industries using high amounts of water. Recognizing this, the Carlsberg Group, a global leader in brewing, embarked on a mission to address water consumption and environmental impact within its operations. The company’s strategic initiative, “Together Towards Zero,” aims to achieve zero wastewater and reduce the carbon footprint across Carlsberg’s operations. This showcase explores Carlsberg’s innovative approaches and successful implementation at the Fredericia Brewery in Denmark, highlighting their commitment to sustainable water usage and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6)

Carlsberg’s Water Consumption Challenge
Previously, Carlsberg’s manufacturing sites consumed an average of 3.4 liters of water per liter of beer produced, with only a fraction of that water ending up in the final product. This high-water consumption, combined with 17 Carlsberg breweries situated in high-water-stressed areas, prompted the company to rethink its water usage approach and launch a comprehensive initiative to tackle this issue head-on.


The Fredericia Brewery Project

At the forefront of Carlsberg’s sustainable water management efforts, the Fredericia Brewery project exemplifies resource management and water reduction strategies. The installation of an advanced water treatment plant enables the Fredericia brewery to significantly reduce their water consumption from 2.9 liters to 1.4 liters per liter of finished product. By reusing 90% of all processwater, the brewery can halve its current water consumption for beer brewing, resulting in an annual saving of approximately 560,000 cubic meters of drinking water. This project aligns with SDG No. 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

Energy Efficiency and SDG Contribution

In addition to water conservation, the water recovery plant in Fredericia Brewery contributes to SDG No. 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Through the production of biogas as a by-product and the recirculation of hot water, the plant reduces the brewery’s energy consumption by 10%. This pioneering project sets a new benchmark for sustainable resource utilization in the Danish brewing industry, positively impacting SDG No. 13: Climate Action.


Advanced Technologies for Water Reuse

Carlsberg’s water treatment approach utilizes cutting-edge technologies for water reuse. The plant employs membrane filtration techniques, including ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO), along with disinfection methods such as advanced oxidation through UV light. These technologies ensure that the treated process water meets the stringent quality requirements for drinking water, as defined by the European Parliament and Council Directive (EU) 2020/2184. Purified water is utilized for various purposes, including bottle cleaning and maintaining production facilities. Rigorous monitoring of conductivity, pH, bacteriology, nitrogen compounds (ammonium, nitrite, nitrate), chloride, cyanide, fluoride, sulfate, manganese, and sodium guarantees compliance with quality standards.

Denmark, a recognized trailblazer in sustainability, continues to pave the way in the industrial sector by showcasing the Fredericia water plant as a learning platform for Carlsberg’s global breweries. This achievement exemplifies how water reuse can be successfully implemented, benefiting both the environment and local communities.

“Water is at the heart of our sustainability program. It’s about ensuring there is enough water for everyone. We strive for efficiency and reuse our process water, while also undertaking projects to replenish the same amount of water we use in areas facing water scarcity.”

Tenna Skov Thorsted, Sustainability Manager at Carlsberg Denmark

Carlsberg’s innovative water management initiatives at the Fredericia Brewery demonstrate the company’s dedication to sustainability and responsible water usage, by significantly reducing water consumption.

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Carlsberg halverer vandforbruget på Fredericia Bryggeri (

Newsroom » Danish Carlsberg brewery saves 1 billion litres of water with new technology « Carlsberg Group


Simon Hoffmeyer Boas
Senior Director, Group Sustainability & ESG, Carlsberg