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Shepherd Neame: Case Study

Shepherd Neame: Case Study

Shepherd Neame is one of the UK’s oldest independent brewing companies, with a rich 300-year history of commercial brewing dating back to 1573. The business operates over 300 pubs across the South East of England and is a leading champion in sustainability for the hospitality and beverage industry.

True has worked with the team at Shepherd Neame for 4 years, pursuing major reductions in energy consumption and costs through a joint approach to energy procurement.

The result of which has seen a 49.9% saving against the average price of energy.


Shepherd Neame had a challenge that every growing organisation with a high number of locations faces, the ever-increasing cost of energy. Furthermore, the volume of energy required to maintain the process of brewing beer, is high.

Shepherd Neame is aiming to keep packaging as lightweight and minimal as possible (2)

Within the hospitality sector, breweries are responsible for approximately 4.8% of electricity and fuel usage with the average brewery being responsible for 0.57Kwh per litre of product that is produced.

Shepherd Neame also has to deal with a number of other sustainability challenges, such as dealing with waste, mitigating carbon emissions, packaging and sourcing food from sustainable farms.

The organisation has three main pledges that address these challenges.

  • To be Net Zero for direct emissions by 2030
  • To be Net Zero for Scope 3 emissions by 2040
  • To commit zero waste to landfill by 2025


One of the key areas the business targeted for making sustainable change was its energy supply and use.

Shepherd Neame joined the Open Performance Fund as part of its wider strategy, which enabled the business to save 49% on its energy bills.

This was made possible with the support of the team from True, who manage the Open Performance Fund.


During the energy crisis of winter 2022 – 2023, the business was not impacted by high energy costs due to the fact that its energy had been bought and paid for by the True team well in advance of the crisis.

"We’ve been supported with excellent advice and support through some very turbulent times. The fund has saved us material sums as we have been able to fix utility supplies at below the market rate. This has given the business sufficient stability to be able to think beyond volatility in the market for the long term."

Jonathan Neame, CEO, Shepherd Neame.

The savings made have allowed the business to continue its sustainable growth and investments in technology and initiatives that are driving its green transition.

Smart automatic electric meters have been installed across the brewery and managed pub estate while gas automated meter readers (AMR), have also been rolled out.

The company is continuing to increase the number of hybrid or electric cars in its fleet, and has installed electric car rapid charging facilities at the brewery and six of its pubs, with more being rolled out.


It is also working with suppliers to find solutions to reduce delivery days, and keep packaging as lightweight and minimal as possible.


“Our extensive investment in new energy-saving initiatives and technology across our pubs and brewery is already demonstrating positive results, and we have also been pleased to receive incredible support and enthusiasm from team members and licensees. We look forward to continuing on this important journey together.”

Jonathan Neame, CEO, Shepherd Neame.


Working with the True team, Shepherd Neame has reduced its energy costs by 49% and also runs off 100% renewable energy.

All of the C02 that is required for the production of the company’s products is also produced from natural processes which has a significant impact on its emissions.

Shepherd Neame Chief Executive Jonathan Neame

(Jonathan Neame, CEO, Shepherd Neame)

The brewery uses 99% recyclable packaging materials, 55% of the water used in the brewing process is recycled, and 97% of spent grain and hops is recycled by local farms. 

For the hospitality sector, Shepherd Neame has demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment to operating in a sustainable manner.

With even more initiatives planned to drive greater efficiencies in 2024 and beyond, the business looks set to achieve its ambitious Net Zero targets as a result of balancing its commercial growth and its green transition.

If you would like to begin your own Net Zero journey, our team of energy and sustainability specialists are available, here.