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EGEB: Anheuser-Busch will make low-carbon beer cans

  • Beer giant Anheuser-Busch will make Michelob Ultra cans using hydroelectricity.
  • HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, says it will become net zero across its customer base by 2050.
  • Greater Boston’s MBTA will source 100% of its forecasted electricity from green energy.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Anheuser-Busch’s low-carbon beer cans

Anheuser-Busch is the largest brewer in the world. So it’s a pretty big deal that the beer giant is going to launch a new range of low-carbon cans. They’ll be made from aluminum produced by Elysis in Montreal, which produces aluminum with a net-zero smelting process using hydroelectricity. A-B’s kickoff plan is to produce 1 million low-carbon cans of Michelob Ultra.

The hydroelectric smelting technology has the potential to generate 30% less carbon emissions than traditional cans. It uses an inert anode — the positively charged electrode by which the electrons leave a device — instead of a carbon anode, meaning it emits pure oxygen instead of the carbon dioxide normally released at smelters.

Anheuser-Busch has made a commitment to reducing emissions across its value chain by 25% by 2025. It also estimates that 70% of its aluminum is currently recycled.

Since the majority of the world’s aluminum is made in Chinese coal-fired plants, Elysis’ and A-B’s hydroelectric plan is a welcome initiative.

HSBC goes net zero

HSBC (HSBA.L) chief executive Noel Quinn, in an exclusive today with Reuters, told the news outlet that HSBC will become net zero across its entire customer base by 2050 at the latest. Quinn also said the banking giant will provide between $750 billion and $1 trillion in financing to help clients make the transition to net zero. HSBC aims to achieve net zero emissions in its own operations by 2030.

Reuters notes:

The pledge is the strongest statement by Europe’s biggest bank on climate change to date, although it met with criticism from some environmental groups for not taking more immediate action to curb its fossil fuel financing.

Quinn said:

COVID has been a wake-up call to us all, including me personally. We have seen how fragile the global economy is to a major event, in this case a health event, and it brings home the reality of what a major climate event could do.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) earlier this week became the latest major bank before HSBC’s announcement to say it would work toward net zero by 2050.

Boston transport’s green plan

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the public agency that operates most public transport services in Greater Boston, will sign a three-year electricity contract that will power the agency’s commuter rail, buses, subway, stations, and other facilities on 100% green energy. Its transit system is the largest electricity consumer in Massachusetts.

And bonus: The MBTA’s costs will drop to $12.7 million annually, compared to its current, fossil-fueled electricity contract, which is $15.5 million. Renewable energy credits will provide assurance that the power comes from certified green energy power plants.

Commonwealth Magazine reports:

Andrew Brennan, the T’s senior director for energy and environment… said the T is also exploring a number of other ways to embrace renewable energy. He said the T currently has wind turbine projects in Kingston and Bridgewater, solar projects at two subway stations, a geothermal project at the Hingham ferry terminal, and a solar canopy project with the potential to produce 25 megawatts of electricity.

The switch will take place on January 1, 2021.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.