July 26, 2023
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Brewing a strong future in Ontario: Labatt invests $145 million in sustainability and innovation

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Photo by Roberta keiko Kitahara Santana on Unsplash

$52.6 million is dedicated to the London brewery to help fund the introduction of the sustainable KeelClip packaging technology

LONDON, ON, Nov. 18, 2021 /CNW/ – Labatt Breweries of Canada is fueling Ontario’s economic recovery with a $145 million stimulus, which includes significant sustainability enhancement and efficiency upgrades to its London brewery. The investment in Ontario is part of a larger $461.5 million Canada-wide capital program that runs from 2019-2022.

Labatt Breweries of Canada Logo (CNW Group/Labatt Breweries of Canada)

Both Ontario and London will benefit from the investment, with $52.6 million going directly into Labatt’s London brewery to fund line upgrades, enhancements, and sustainable innovations. A substantial portion of the investment will finance the implementation of the KeelClip™– a new technology which uses a sustainable, fibre paperboard packaging system instead of plastic.

The innovative solution uses a high-tech automated packaging system, which will enable the London brewery to eliminate more than 52,000kg of plastic by early 2022. Once the technology is implemented in Montreal and London, the solution will help eliminate more than 152,000kgs — that’s more than the weight of 117 mid-size cars of plastic no longer going into the landfill. Once the KeelClip is underway across other Labatt operations, this investment is projected to further cut Labatt’s single-use and recyclable plastics by a total of 242,000kg by 2024.

The remainder of the $145 million investment will go towards non-brewery operations across the province including distribution and technology enhancements, and commercial initiatives. This investment will not only help accelerate the province’s post-COVID economic recovery, but it will also lead to a significant reduction in single-use plastic, showcasing the company’s commitment to London and the province of Ontario.

“This is a key investment for Labatt; it represents our dedication to supporting a robust economy in Ontario, which is underpinned by sustainable innovations that future generations can count on. We’re proud to have introduced North America’s first KeelClip technology and we’re now delighted to bring its sustainability benefits to our London brewery and massively minimize plastic waste at a crucial time for the environment,” says Alex Martel, London Brewery Senior General Manager, Labatt Breweries of Canada.

“Since day one, our government has been committed to making Ontario a more attractive investment destination and today’s announcement by Labatt helps prove that it’s working,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “By lowering taxes, reducing electricity costs, and cutting red tape, we’ve reduced burdens on Ontario businesses by $7 billion every year so innovators and job creators like Labatt can make investments that go toward new Ontario Made ideas and products that will drive real economic growth for the next generation.”

“Of Ontario’s waste, 22 million pounds of plastic ends up in our Great Lakes annually, so cutting plastic out of the equation is fantastic news for our communities and natural environment,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Labatt’s leadership and commitment to the sustainability of their products is an excellent example of Ontario businesses working towards green, clean growth. This will have a real impact as we work together to reduce plastic waste in Ontario and leave our planet a better place for future generations.”

“I am very pleased to see such a strong endorsement for doing business in Ontario, and especially in London, from one of our most esteemed local businesses,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin–Middlesex–London and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This is great news for the region at a time when our economy is preparing to recover and grow.”

Labatt has been brewing at its hometown brewery in London, Ontario, and operating in the province for 174 years with a total investment of $1.125 billion between 2011-2021. The company has a longstanding history of substantial investments in its brewing operations and in supporting national, provincial and local economies across Canada.

“Ontario has long been home to our London brewery, and this investment showcases our commitment to operating in the province for years to come. As we make these sustainability upgrades, we are working to future proof our brewery, and strongly position ourselves for responsible growth and expansion opportunities,” says Martel.

About Labatt Breweries of Canada   

Labatt Breweries of Canada has been one of Canada’s most respected companies for close to 175 years with roots back to 1847 in London, Ontario, when a farmer named John Kinder Labatt first entered the business of brewing. Since then, the company has grown to include seven key breweries from coast-to-coast, as well as four craft breweries, 75 brands and over 3,600 skilled craftspeople and professionals. We know that we’re only as strong as the communities where we live and work, and we’ve been making positive contributions since before Confederation. Today, that dedication to supporting Canadian communities, which includes our many responsible drinking and environmental sustainability programs, is summed up in our dream to Bring People Together for a Better World. Our employees are the driving force behind these efforts, rising to the challenge time and time again to lend a hand. And with their dedication to supporting their fellow Canadians matched only by their passion for brewing Canada’s best-loved beers, we know that Labatt is here to stay.   

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