26 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER MAY 2019
for refrigeration and plant air. Lights and
instrumentation resulted in huge energy
savings for us as well.
Reducing steam also reduces water consumption.
Our water is very cheap because
of our senior water rights and showing a
return on investment (ROI) on water
reduction is difficult. But corporate gives
us some flexibility to make progress here
even with longer ROIs because at the end
of the day we also need to answer to our
stockholders on our water consumption.
These are very impressive achievements.
What did it take for you to
Corporate is hugely into energy and water
reduction. They have made a clear commitment
to annual reductions for the
next 10 years. Performance data is made
transparent and normalized to the barrels
of beer we produce among our facilities.
In 2018 we were at 106 megajoules per
hectoliter, but other newer production
facilities are already well under 100. Water
consumption in 2018 was 3.26 hectoliter
per hectoliter, this is more efficient than
typical microbreweries but still more than
other MillerCoors production facilities.
We had monthly phone meetings with the
directors of each of our seven breweries
to share learnings, ideas, and data. What
made our Golden brewery unique was
that we were the only ones using steam
compression. This was the first clue that
we should reevaluate this practice.
My first problem was that our steam
meters were not accurate and did not balance.
The operators were not concerned
as long as they had enough steam going
to the process. For a while, it was frustrating
to just get the meters fixed. Now,
operations is very proactive in keeping the
Our culture has always been “steam is
cheap.” It was a big deal to change that
thinking and initially my ideas for change
were not taken that seriously, but we have
very smart directors, and data is what
convinced them. Our energy consumption
compared to other breweries was too
high and leadership wanted us to figure
out how to change this. Management kept
communicating the urgency of the matter.
Passionate people that made change possible
were moved into key positions, and
this really turned things around. Top management
was behind this because of our
customers and employees, who want to
work with companies that are responsible.
What general differences have you
observed between how industrial
and municipal treatment facilities
We all need to meet compliance, so funding
is prioritized for either type of facility to
ensure we meet permit. When it comes to
energy and water reduction projects, funding
depends on the priorities of the organization.
The Colorado Industrial Energy
Challenge Program, of which MillerCoors
is a member, also has municipal members
such as the City of Boulder and the City
of Greeley. Municipal facilities report to