That Bud’s Not for the Planet, nor for me

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Anheuser-Busch makes much of its commitment to the environment:

Today, many companies are “going green.” But at Anheuser-Busch, we’re proud to say our tradition of environmental stewardship dates back to our founder, Adolphus Busch. In the late 1800s, he began recycling leftover grain from the brewing process, using it for cattle feed, a practice that continues today. …

We’re always looking for ways to operate more efficiently, while maintaining our quality standards, and be better stewards of the environment. It’s the right thing for the environment and our company.

These words don’t seem to fit with Corporate activities.

And, Anheauser-Busch makes noise as to their commitment to dealing with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and global warming such as in this 2009 press release:

“In 2008, Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. breweries continued a 100-year company tradition of minimizing our impact on the environment in our operations by reducing fuel usage by 8.6 percent; electricity use by 5.1 percent; CO2 purchases by 30 percent; and water use by 13 percent,” said Peter Kraemer, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of Supply.  “All of these efforts combined reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 percent.  In addition to conservation, we’ve expanded our use of alternative fuels such as solar energy, wastewater we convert to methane gas to offset our use of natural gas, and landfill gas, and we have more alternative energy projects planned for this year and beyond, all while maintaining our high quality standards.”

“We believe in constantly evaluating ways to improve our environmental performance while maintaining our quality standards and have set challenging global targets to achieve our dream of becoming the ‘Best Beer Company in a Better World’,” Kraemer said.  “Our celebration of World Environment Day is a global opportunity to unleash the creativity and caring of our employees so they could undertake small but impactful environmental projects at work and in their communities – all aimed at improving our environment.”

Yet, at best, there is uncertainty as to Anheuser-Busch’s real commitment. Climate Counts gave them a 51 out of 100 score, ‘striding’ with a major improvement, when it comes to climate issues. The marginal score resulted in part due to the fact that “Climate Counts found no public information to suggest that Anheuser-Busch supports public policy that addresses climate change.”

In fact, however, the public information might suggest otherwise.

Anheuser-Busch has a chair on the Board of Directors of the US Chamber of Commerce, which has been actively fighting moving forward with sensible climate legislation.  The Chamber’s position is so severe that, in fact, multiple businesses (such as PG&E) have left the chamber, others have stepped down the board with public statements distancing themselves from the Chamber’s activities, and there is increasing criticism of the Chamber from voices across the United States.

And, there are mounting calls to turn up the pressure on the Chamber.

Credo and Drinking Liberally have come together to call on Anheuser-Busch to provide some substantive signaling as to its commitment to a livable planet:

Bud and Bud Lite are supposed to lift our spirits; why would they want to hurt our planet?

And, Drinking Liberally has even put a carrot into the equation, promising some business if Anheuser-Busch steps up for the planet and steps away from the Chamber:

Join us in asking Anheuser-Busch to step down from the board of the Chamber of Commerce, and show us where their loyalties truly are — with us, their customers.

Other major companies including Apple and Pacific Gas and Electric have already stepped down. If Anheuser-Busch stands up for our environment, we’ll raise up a glass to them, and say, “This Bud’s for you.”

Until that moment, that Bud’s not for the planet … and certainly not for me.


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  1. …. not committed to the Public Option in the Health Insurance Reform bills now working its way thru the House and the Senate.  Both to the ones who were actively fighting against any sort of reform, and the ones who just wouldn’t be pinned down to voting against a bill without it. (for the Democrats)

    They were one of the “marker” donors that always showed up.

    Along with Koch Oil, and Altria Phillip Morris Tobacco, and most of them had American Crystal Sugar, along with something like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grunman, or some of the union PACs which did aerospace or navy ship work.

    The Republican Party is using the Health Care Bill as the preliminary practice round in killing the Democratic agenda.   Why does this not surprise me.

  2. … not a big loss for people on a middle class salary who can afford Sam Adams or such, but what is the cheap beer that people can drink?

  3. with an “environmental” politics which promotes “corporate accountability” and other oxymorons.  We get “environmentalism” as a species of corporate self-promotion.  All of the “environmental” organizations which adopt such nonsensical philosophy can thus qualify for generous donations from corporations such as Anheuser-Busch, and thereby said “environmentalists” can lead the bourgeois lifestyles they’ve always wanted to lead.  Maybe when the weather changes a bit with global warming (and as the icepack disappears atop the Sierras and Rockies, bringing drought panic to the West) they can be first in line for Canadian citizenship because they’ve got money or something.  

    As it is mass consumerism which is (along with the military-industrial complex etc.) destroying our planet’s ecosystems (and thus, eventually, us), a reduction in greenhouse gases of 10% means, ultimately, that Anheuser-Busch is helping us die at a 10% slower rate.  Is this supposed to be some sort of cause for celebration?  It looks like a particularly toxic form of narcissism to me, borne of people whose love for planet Earth is trivial.

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