Caring for the environment is no longer an option but a necessity demanded by the planet. Companies know this and that is why many of them are leading the way, making innovative decisions that help to create a more sustainable world. Sustainability is one of the fundamental pillars of Grupo Ágora (to which Cervezas Ámbar and Moritz belong) and as a result of this awareness they have launched and participated in different projects in recent years.
In February, the Group said goodbye to an important part of the plastic that formed part of its products with the replacement of the traditional plastic rings that group the cans of these two beer brands with 100% biodegradable cardboard, which will mean a reduction in the use of 5 million rings.
This new banding is made entirely of natural fibers from sustainably and responsibly managed trees that are FSC certified. The implementation of this measure has required the adaptation of a new packaging line that has involved an investment of close to 750,000 euros.
According to Enrique Torguet Ramos, director of communication, institutional relations and ESG at Grupo Agora, the reception of this measure is being “very good” and he expects that by the end of the year “just over 5 million of the plastic rings that make up our cans will have been replaced, equivalent to some 15 tons”.
Grupo Agora’s objective is to replace the plastic in its containers and packaging so that they are totally sustainable, 100% recyclable and/or reusable. AMBAR and Moritz currently market around 85% of their products in the on-trade in reusable formats.
In addition, since about two weeks ago, “we have been packaging the one and a half liter bottles of LUNARES water in 100% recycled plastic. With this, we will go from using 150 tons of virgin PET to 100% post-consumer recycled PET. In addition, we have been using 50% recycled PET in the 500 cl and 330 cl bottles since the beginning of the year,” adds Torguet.
Beers that put down roots
Another of the most talked-about and high-impact initiatives that Cervezas Ámbar has launched this year has been its participation in the Zaragozan Forest, a collaborative initiative promoted by the Zaragoza City Council with the support of ECODES, whose aim is to create new green spaces in the city. In April, the Aragonese brewery joined in the implementation of this forest in which 1,000 trees will be planted in the Peñaflor forest.
Enrique Torguet explains why the company decided to participate in this project: “Beyond the environmental impact that the regeneration of spaces for the city may have in the future in terms of air quality, it serves to send a message to society. We needed a sustained and joint action by the entire community of Zaragoza and AMBAR is part of it. We are a city”.
The planting will take place in November and, according to Torguet, “we still have to establish together with ECODES how to carry it out” although he assures that “the intention is to open it up to voluntary participation, not only to our employees but also to our clients and AMBAR consumers”.
The communications director believes that “Zaragoza is on the right track to become the benchmark for sustainable cities in our country. This is attested by the latest nominations and the commitment not only institutional but also citizen that is very remarkable. Therefore, to gain in greater green surface is to gain in quality of life”.
Objective: to recover Aragon’s environmental heritage
Also this year, Cervezas AMBAR signed an agreement for the creation of a “carbon sink” in Aínsa. It was signed in June by Enrique Torguet; Enrique Pueyo García, mayor-president of the City Council of Aínsa-Sobrarbe; Juan Antonio Gil Gallús, vice-president of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture (FCQ); and Pedro Pérez de Ayala López-Cortijo, director of the company ReTree.
The project, which is financed by the brewery, is an example of public-private collaboration whose objective is to value the recovery of the Aragonese environmental heritage.
The natural area of La Serreta is located at the foot of Peña Montañesa, at the confluence of the Cinca and Ara rivers, very close to the town of Aínsa. With an extension of 9 hectares and property of the City Council, it has been given to exploitation for 40 years to house a plantation of 2000 trees, mostly oaks.
The company ReTree will be in charge of the reforestation tasks with land preparation, planting and auxiliary works, as well as the certification of the “Compenso” seal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITERD) for AMBAR. The reforestation tasks will create local employment and volunteer activities of the brand will be carried out with local personnel from October this year until March 2023.
EBROVIDA: protecting biodiversity
This agreement is part of the EBROVIDA project promoted by AMBAR, which aims to protect biodiversity and generate a positive impact on its communities and consumers.
Enrique Torguet explains that EBROVIDA, “as a name that brings together our environmental and social sustainability actions, is recent. Not so the actions we have been developing”. He highlights among them “the fourteen editions in favor of endangered animal species carried out with the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture, for which we received the Félix de Azara awards from the Provincial Council of Huesca in 2004 or the Environment Award from the Government of Aragon in 2010. Currently I would highlight the AMBAR Forests, in addition to the 1000 trees that we are going to plant in Peñaflor, we will repopulate with 2000 holm oaks La Serreta de Aínsa. We recently presented the Ebrovida La Cartuja Marathon with routes along the Ebro riverbed to be held in November; the Festivals in rural areas such as Brizna in Ayerbe in August or Bosque Sonoro in Mozota; in September the kitesurfing Festival in La Loteta will return, taking advantage of the zaragozano wind; and we are working on the design of biodiversity protection projects for next year. In addition, we are continuing with our line of collaborations to promote local products and ingredients, as we have done with truffles, dorondon wheat from Monegros and wild yeast from Monte Perdido“, explains Torguet.
Last May, the brewery also announced the launch of AMBAR Triple Zero. A beer that, in addition to zero alcohol and zero sugars, is also zero in terms of CO2 neutral emissions. An innovative initiative developed with the Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES) and which, in the words of Torguet, “responds to a society that is increasingly aware and careful with its nutrition and also with the planet”.
The alcohol-free beer, with which they were pioneers in Spain 46 years ago, has managed to remove the sugar “thanks to a brewing process that starts with complete fermentations that we then eliminate by means of slow evaporation at low temperature and low pressure. Thus, the alcohol-free and sugar-free beer maintains all its properties intact and all its flavor, but it is also zero in terms of CO2 neutral emissions,” explains Torguet.
“Ambar Triple Zero’s commitment to carbon neutrality begins with reducing emissions in its production and fully offsetting those that cannot be avoided. It is a project that we have developed through the CeroCO2 initiative of the Ecology and Development Foundation for the calculation of emissions, which has then been audited by AENOR and is registered with the Climate Change Office of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. Our triple zero has once again reinvented the category and launched a concept of conscious beer that can serve as an example for other products, as was also the case with gluten-free beer”, adds Torguet.
Commitment to sustainability as a strategic pillar
The Group’s commitment to sustainability, as we can see, goes back a long way and is here to stay, since its main objective is “to brew the best beer and for our work to be done in a more sustainable way,” says Torguet, who stresses that “sustainability is one of the pillars of our strategic plan. Everything that depends on us is under review to become more efficient and respectful of our environment”.
The head of communication also gives as an example the recent launch of “the new non-returnable bottles made from 85% recycled glass that weigh 20% less and use less paper for labeling”. He also adds that “in October we will install 25,000 square meters of solar panels that will enable us to be 25% self-sufficient, and in our commitment to the circular economy, 95% of our factory waste will be used. And we are also going to test for the first time in Spain the urban delivery with electric trucks 7500 kilos or long distance with mixed hydrogen fuel cell”.