Heineken: keeping commitments to the environment

In a press release, Heineken provided results on its sustainability goals, which showed an encouraging start to 2020 for the popular beer brand. Conduc...

William Girling
|Feb 24|magazine9 min read

In a press release, Heineken provided results on its sustainability goals, which showed an encouraging start to 2020 for the popular beer brand.

Conducting a global survey as part of its overall ‘Brewing a Better World’ strategy, the company compared its 2019 progress against targets set in the previous decade. The results were:

  • 49% decrease in carbon emissions from production since 2008.

  • 33% decrease in water consumption in our breweries since 2008.

  • 39% reduction in accident frequency since 2015.

  • 95% of markets where the company sells and advertises Heineken® allocated 10%, or more, of Heineken® media spend to responsible consumption campaigns.

“Achieving real and lasting change is only possible through the collective efforts of everyone who works at Heineken,” said the company in the full report. “Our focus areas are linked with specific SDGs and their targets, ensuring that we make a meaningful and transparent contribution to the global goals to protect the planet, ensure prosperity and end poverty.”

2020 and beyond

On page 124 of the full report, Heineken provides a complete record of each sustainability goal: its 2019 result, its 2020 commitment and whether the company is ‘on track’ to achieving it or not.  

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“We have defined new 2030 strategies for water and climate change and we are in the process of developing strategies and targets beyond 2020 for other focus areas,” the company said.

Current areas requiring more attention are reducing carbon emissions during the distribution process in Europe, sourcing agricultural materials locally in Africa and wastewater management.

However, targets are on track for mitigating CO2 in production, achieved through improved energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

Solar power: lighting the way

One definite step towards overcoming the company’s emission target shortcomings in Europe is a new solar power plant in Andévalo, Spain. 

Signing an agreement with energy company Iberdrola, Heineken projects that the collaboration could result in the mitigation of 100,000 tonnes of CO2, provide enough energy to power 25,000 homes and create 200 local jobs. 

“Thanks to the Andévalo plant, all our drinks will be brewed using electricity created directly from the sun,” said Guillaume Duverdier, MD of Heineken Span. 

“After covering all our breweries’ electrical requirements, we will be replacing our existing gas boilers with ones that use biomass in order to be able to brew beer using only renewable energy by 2023.”