Sustainability at HEINEKEN

Sustainability at HEINEKEN

Sustainability has been fundamental to the HEINEKEN Company since our business began, and it lies at the heart of everything we do.

Brewing a Better World

As the world’s most international brewer we have a responsibility to make things better: now, and for generations to come. Our focus on sustainability is not just philanthropic. Sustainability is one of the six key priorities in our Strategy.

Our focus is to further embed and integrate sustainability within HEINEKEN, creating real sustainable value for all our stakeholders and enabling the Company to achieve its other five business objectives.

In 2010, we launched Brewing a Better Future, our long-term approach to sustainability and one of our key operational priorities for the business. Its aim is to create shared value across all of our stakeholders by focusing on four key areas where we can make the biggest impact:

  • Protecting water resources
  • Reducing CO2 emissions
  • Sourcing sustainably
  • Advocating responsible consumption

In 2014, we changed the name to Brewing a Better World, to better reflect that the work we are doing is having an impact today, not just in the future.

We also added two new pillars: Growing with communities and Promoting health and safety. Health and safety has always been an integral part of HEINEKEN’s business and adding it as a pillar creates greater visibility. Growing with communities reflects our responsibility to help communities where we live, work and sell our products to be more sustainable. We are increasingly using the term 'inclusive growth' to clarify this message.


Each focus area is underpinned by clear commitments that state our ambitions for 2020, with three-year milestones to be achieved by 2015.



Protecting water resources

2015 milestone 2020 ambition
Reduce our specific water consumption in the breweries to 3.9 hl/hl1
Reduce our specific water consumption in the breweries by 25%1 to 3.7 hl/hl
100% of our production units2 in water scarce and distressed areas will have a source water protection plan
Aim for significant water compensation/ balancing by our production units in water-scarce and distressed areas
  1. Baseline 2008
  2. Twenty-three production units


Reducing CO₂ emissions

2015 milestone 2020 ambition
Reduce our CO2 emissions in production by 27%1 (eq 7.6 kg CO2/hl)
Reduce our CO2 emissions in production by 40%1 (eq 6.4 kg CO2/hl)
Reduce the CO2 emissions of our fridges by 42%2
Reduce the CO2 emissions of our fridges by 50%2
Reduce the CO2 emissions of distribution by 10%3 in Europe and the Americas4
Reduce the CO2 emissions of distribution by 20%3 in Europe and the Americas4
  1. Baseline 2008
  2. Baseline 2010
  3. Baseline 2011
  4. Scope is WE, CEE and Americas, 23 of our largest operations: Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico, USA


Sourcing sustainably

2015 milestone 2020 ambition
Deliver 50% of raw materials in Africa via local sourcing1 (based upon tonnage)
Deliver 60% of raw materials in Africa via local sourcing1 (based upon tonnage)
Aim for sustainable sourcing of raw materials: 20% of barley, 40% of hops, 60% of apples2 from sustainable sources
Aim for at least 50% of our main raw materials supplied from sustainable sources2
4-step Supplier Code Procedure operational within all Operating Companies
Ongoing compliance to Supplier Code Procedure
  1. With local sourcing we refer to sourcing within the region of Africa & Middle East
  2. Based upon volume, in scope are barley, hops, cider apples, fruit concentrates, sugar, rice, sorghum, wheat, maize


Advocating responsible consumption

2015 milestone 2020 ambition
Precise goals for 2015 to be decided in conjunction with industry via ICAP and GAPG organisations.
Deliver global industry commitments on:
  1. Reducing under-age drinking
  2. Strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice to limit the exposure to young people
  3. Providing more consumer information and responsible product innovation
  4. Reducing drinking and driving
  5. Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking
We commit to invest a minimum of 10% of our media share of voice for Heineken® in supporting our dedicated responsible consumption campaign in at least 50% of our market volume1
Making responsible consumption aspirational through Heineken®
Every market in scope2 has a partnership to address alcohol related harm. All partnerships meet HEINEKEN's 7 point partnership criteria.
Every market in scope2 has and reports publicly on a measurable partnership aimed at addressing alcohol abuse.
  1. Market scope covering in total at least 50% of Heineken® global volume. We focus our efforts on the larger markets where we can make the biggest impact, out of scope are those markets where we are unable to run our responsible consumption campaign due to local (legal and religious) restrictions on alcohol advertising
  2. Out of scope are Islamic markets and small export markets where we don’t have staff or a presence


Content from this campaign

Join HEINEKEN’s plenary session on how to intersect sustainability and marketing at Sustainable Brands conference
June 2, 2015 /3BL Media/ - DATE: June 2, 2015TIME: 11:20 am - 11:35 am Pacific TimePRESENTOR: Michael Dickstein How to intersect sustainability and marketing, sell more by selling less and drive positive impact There is often a noticeable difference in both thinking and behavior between...
Jun 2, 2015 8:00 AM ET
New Heineken® campaign brings sustainability message closer to consumers
Amsterdam, 28 April 2015 /3BL Media/ – Heineken® has launched a new digital campaign in order to bring consumers closer to its sustainability message. The Legendary 7 campaign taps into the increasing consumer interest into sustainability and a desire to understand more about the ingredients of beer. HEINEKEN is committed to buy 50% of its main raw materials from...
Apr 28, 2015 10:00 AM ET
Heineken’s CEO on Leading a 150-Year-Old Company
Sustainability boils down to a very simple fact: If I continue to do things that I do today, will I exist tomorrow? Is what I’m doing sustainable? Don’t I use too much water and energy to make my beer? Do we not use the wrong source of water supply to grow our agricultural produce, which will lead us in 20 years’ time to problems and no supply at all in the area where we are? In...
Dec 5, 2014 8:25 AM ET
Heineken’s CEO on leading a 150-year-old company
We would like to draw your attention to an interview our CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer had with McKinsey for their McKinsey Quarterly recently. The focus of the interview and article is on leading a 150 year old company, managing for the long term with a specific focus on innovation and sustainability. Mobilizing to innovate Innovation is the lifeblood of the...
Nov 8, 2014 10:10 AM ET
HEINEKEN recognised by CDP as a leader for climate change transparency and corporate action
AMSTERDAM, October 15, 2014 /3BL Media/ - HEINEKEN has been recognised as a world leader for both transparency and corporate action on climate change by CDP, the international NGO that drives sustainable economies.   HEINEKEN has been included as a member of ‘The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014’. The index represents 187 global listed...
Oct 15, 2014 3:00 PM ET