St. Louis, MO and Watertown MA, March 22, 2022 - America’s leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch is partnering with Cambrian®, a commercial provider of distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions, to implement new water reuse technology in connection with its breweries – including a new plant in Houston, TX set to open in the summer of 2022.
Through Cambrian’s innovative series of reactors and filtration technologies, Anheuser-Busch will be able to clean and reuse previously discarded water in industrial processes which don’t contact beer, reducing the Houston brewery's reliance on new water from the community's municipal water supply by 10%.
The partnership is a manifestation of Anheuser-Busch's commitment to investing in initiatives that make a positive impact on the planet, specifically the brewer’s 2025 Sustainability Goal around water efficiency. With the addition of Cambrian’s BlueCycle MBR process water treatment system, Anheuser-Busch will be able to drastically reduce the volume of water drawn from natural sources and minimize the strain on the local water supply and treatment infrastructure.
Water conservation at this scale is the product of over 36 months of planning, investing, and execution between Anheuser-Busch and Cambrian. The alliance between the two companies formed when Cambrian Innovation acquired Baswood, a wastewater and biosolids tech firm, whom Anheuser-Busch began working with in 2019 through their global 100+ Accelerator. The 100+ Accelerator funds and pilots sustainability focused start-ups to help bring innovative supply chain solutions to market.
“Following a successful pilot through our 100+ Accelerator, we are very excited to continue to invest in the growth of this innovative team by implementing this advanced technology at our Houston brewery where we first installed wastewater treatment more than 24 years ago,” said Angie Slaughter, Vice President of Sustainability Procurement at Anheuser-Busch. “At Anheuser-Busch, we are always challenging ourselves to dream big when it comes to our sustainability efforts and our work with Cambrian highlights the power of partnership in bringing scale to solutions that accelerate the circular economy.”
Through a Cambrian-pioneered performance contract, known as the Water Energy Purchase Agreement (WEPA®) , Anheuser-Busch expects to reclaim nearly 100 million gallons of water each year.
In the WEPA model, Cambrian owns and operates its proprietary technology which alleviates the operations cost and burden to local plant operators as the company pays for the gallons of water treatment rather than costs of the facility. This model saves manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch massive amounts of upfront capital investments and shifts risks associated with long-term operational maintenance. This agreement also ensures that specialized personnel are employed on-site to manage the ongoing lifecycle of the treatment facility.
“The sophistication we’ve reached with this technology is exciting. The quality of water that can be delivered with radically lower energy use is astounding,” said Edward Norton, sustainability advocate and Board Member at Cambrian. “But what’s actually most significant here is that Anheuser-Busch and Cambrian are demonstrating that what’s best for the environment and the community is also the best economic option for a major corporation from a pure balance sheet perspective. A more sustainable water strategy results in a more profitable company. That alignment is going to really drive positive change.”
Cambrian’s wastewater treatment technology also decreases overall carbon footprint in support of Anheuser-Busch’s global net-zero ambition. With less stress on the municipal water system, the hundreds of tons of CO2 emissions from the city water treatment machinery will be mitigated along with emissions from trucking and pumping, resulting in an emissions reduction of 1230 metric tons of CO2 per year – the equivalent of removing more than 260 cars off the road annually.
“Water savings of this scale are a big step forward in water conservation and carbon emission reduction possibilities for food & beverage manufacturers, resorts, and dairies throughout the US,” said Matt Silver, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Cambrian. “We hope the partnership between Anheuser-Busch and Cambrian Innovations can serve as a model to create a new standard in water conservation stewardship in the beverage industry.”
For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate more than 120 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities and packaging plants, and have more than 19,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
At Cambrian, we believe it's our fundamental responsibility to combine technical and business innovation in order to protect our natural resources and create a zero-waste, sustainable future for our communities, while also saving money. With cutting-edge biology that mimics the planet’s natural cycles and a first-in-industry wastewater treatment as a service model that charges only per gallon treated, our solutions deliver tangible results to people, businesses, and the planet at the lowest cost of ownership. Cambrian Innovation has implemented solutions with world renowned brands in food, beverage, and lifestyle resort industries nationally and internationally, including Anchor Brewing, Anheuser-Busch, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, and Discovery Land. Started at MIT over a decade ago, the company has been highlighted as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a World Economic Forum Global Circular Economy Leader, and has been cited as an example of the future of sustainable business in Accenture’s Circular Economy Handbook.