Companies

KBL targets 15 per cent solar adoption in four years

karuku

Jane Karuku, EABL Group Managing Director. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plans to double its solar utilisation to 15 per cent in the next four years as it accelerates its shift to renewable energy.

The company said it is applying good energy management practices across supply operations and installing solar panels as part of its journey towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions as close to zero as possible.

“To accelerate our journey to net zero carbon we intend to increase solar energy utilization from 7 per cent to 15 per cent by 2026,” said the brewer in the East African Breweries Limited in the 2022 Sustainability Report.

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As part of this commitment, the KBL will install solar panels at East African Maltings Limited (EAML) and Tusker sites as an alternative to electricity.

With the intensifying effects of climate change such as floods, heat waves, drought and forest fires, it’s not business as usual as priority shifts towards sustainable and environmentally-responsible projects and operations.

Going green is part of the brewer’s active role towards sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate change advocacy.

To achieve the sustainability goal, the KBL is accelerating to a low carbon footprint in its operations in order to reduce its overall energy use as well as lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are hoping as Africa business leaders we are going to drive the agenda on addressing climate change since as a continent we bear the biggest brunt,” said EABL Managing Director Jane Karuku.

The EABL has completed setting up its biomass-fired energy plant in Kisumu as the company moves to use sustainable local by-products to produce renewable energy.

Biomass power is generated from burning organic waste that would otherwise be taken to landfills or disposed of by other means.

The beer manufacturer, which uses raw materials such as sorghum and barley, is expected to use the waste of its production processes to fuel the biomass plants.

The biomass plants in Kisumu and another in Nairobi are expected to help the brewer achieve a net-zero status and reduce its carbon emissions by 48,000 tonnes annually.

EABL remains one of the most efficient firms in generating returns on shareholder funds at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), owing to its maturity in terms of capital investments and a large market share in the beer industry.

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The firm recorded a sharp recovery in profitability in the year ended June, more than doubling its net earnings to Sh15.57 billion from Sh6.96 billion a year earlier.

This saw its return on equity —a ratio that gauges how efficiently a company generates profits— jump to 58.9 per cent from 46.9 per cent.

The improved performance saw the brewer return to paying dividends which it had suspended following the economic crisis and the closure of bars eroded its earnings in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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