Nepal: Investigation links pollution found in wastewater samples to Carlsberg brewery; incl. co comments
In collaboration with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), Danwatch collected and tested water samples in December 2017 and again in March 2018 near a Carlsberg brewery in Nepal. The tests show that several measurements for water pollution lie above the maximum permissible value, which Danwatch links to wastewater discharge caused by the brewery. The investigation also claims that a nearby village is exposed to soot pollution and thereby to an increased risk of respiratory diseases and cancer.
In response to the investigation, Carlsberg while acknowledging pollution says that the problems have been solved. Speaking to Danish National Broadcasting, a spokesperson for Carlsberg said, "We were somewhat surprised when we saw the test results first from Danwatch, and then from DR. So we double checked everything and we made our own measurements, which clearly show that Gorkha's wastewater is well below the Nepalese limit values... My guess is that we should look at what else lies in the area, which includes a food producer, a distillery, agriculture and a chicken farm." Carlsberg states that, as a result of previous bad tests (in 2015 ed.), they upgraded the brewery's water purification plant. "The problems [in 2015] were due to culture and competencies, but we invested in a new wastewater treatment plant on that occasion. And then we started a lot more training [on these issues]." The current investigation is not the first to link Carlsberg's breweries to wastewater discharge. The company conceded that in 2015 and 2016 there were too high values for chemical oxygen consumption (COD), a measure of water pollution, at two of their breweries in Laos and a Carlsberg brewery in Malawi. In response, Carlsberg launched a new sustanainability strategy last year. "We always take the environment extremely seriously... and we continuously invest in raising standards all over the world, including in Nepal," the spokesperson said. "We have a clear goal to completely avoid water spills by 2030," he continued.
Note: The statements by Carlsberg were unofficially translated into English. The original article was published in Danish here. You can also find it below.]