“Let’s face it: energy costs are going to keep on rising at a faster pace than inflation,” he says. “So we’ve been making strides to be leaner and greener.”
The company has ploughed £6m into a new distribution centre in Reydon, just outside of Southwold. Made from lime, hemp and with a roof of “living carpet” (fancy grass, if you want to get technical), it ticks all the environmental boxes.
A further £3.3m has been spent on a new brewstream, with an energy recovery plant that diverts steam to reheat the next brew rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.
“No, we haven’t been ‘greenwashed’,” scoffs Adnams. “These plans were put together in 2003, way before our competitors were beating the sustainability drum.”
“If we want to stay on side with retailers, we have to keep innovating.” He points to a new 500ml beer bottle that the company brought to market last year. It uses 34 per cent less glass and is 155gms lighter than its previous bottle.
“Now when supermarkets tell us they’re under pressure to reduce packaging waste, we can say, ‘Look at what we’ve done’.”
These investments haven’t tapered Adnams’ growth. Last year, the family firm turned over £46m and pocketed £4.1m, up 11.8 per cent on the previous year’s profits.