Growing with communities

Why is this important?

While it has always been key to our sustainability strategy, Growing with communities was added as a pillar of Brewing a Better World in 2014. This pillar reflects how our business brings us in close contact with millions of consumers and stakeholders daily. Where we have the opportunity to help communities prosper, we do so. It's good business and it can support us in the long-term.

In Africa, for example, we are committed to source 60% of our raw materials locally by 2020. This benefits the farmer who grows the crop, his family and the community. It also reduces our transport costs and, because of the benefit we bring to the community, eventually creates demand for our products. For more on this area, see our case studies.

How we contribute

From the farmers we work with to the people living around our breweries, we want to ensure that our success as a business helps the communities and societies in which we operate to prosper.

Our support is based on three building blocks: direct contributions made locally, shared-value projects, and the Heineken Africa Foundation.


Direct contributions

HEINEKEN Operating Companies contribute cash, time, in-kind donations and management costs. Investments include long-term community investments through partnerships that are aligned with our sustainability agenda, such as addressing alcohol misuse and local water challenges.  

We encourage all employees to become actively involved in the communities in which we live and work. For details on our most recent contributions, see our latest Sustainability Report.

Shared-value projects

Our local sourcing projects in Africa and Haiti are a prime example of ‘inclusive growth’ and how we create shared value. These projects not only benefit HEINEKEN as a business, but also create jobs, help to strengthen the agricultural sector and improve the lives of rural households over time. For our latest investments, see the most recent Sustainability Report.

The Heineken Africa Foundation

Established with an endowment from HEINEKEN of €20 million, the Foundation can invest up to €1 million per year in community healthcare and water projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

At the end of 2014, the Foundation had committed to 70 projects totalling around €6 million. These projects include a solar-powered community borehole in Nigeria, a mobile ultrasound clinic in Sierra Leone, a healthcare project for homeless people in South Africa and the construction of 20 rainwater tanks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Heineken Africa Foundation works in partnership with HEINEKEN, its subsidiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa and local governments and NGOs.

Creating economic and social impact

As a global business, the biggest contribution we make to communities is through the positive impact of our business itself: creating jobs, providing business to suppliers and paying taxes.

We are a pioneering company in measuring economic and social impact in key markets around the world. Since 2006, we have executed 27 studies, two of which were completed in 2014: Burundi and Indonesia. The studies show the far-reaching impact that we have on the economy and society of these countries.

In support of HEINEKEN’s business priorities we pursue a tax strategy that is controlled, sustainable and transparent:

  • The Heineken tax control framework governs our approach to tax, and how we manage tax risks.
  • We expect to pay tax on our activities in the country where they take place, and we do not use tax haven jurisdictions for tax avoidance purposes.
  • Our tax policy is to comply with international and national tax legislation, and we seek an open and constructive dialogue with tax authorities.

The taxes that HEINEKEN pays are a significant part of our contribution to local economies. For our most up to date, audited contributions, see the most recent Sustainability Report.


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