Heineken N.V. today publishes its 2014 Sustainability Report, highlighting strong progress made during the year.

Highlights are:

  • Water use now below 4 hl per hl of beer produced;
  • 30% less CO2 emissions (per hl) in production since 2008; 20% of electricity from renewable sources;
  • Local sourcing of raw materials in Africa reaches 48%;
  • ‘Dance More Drink Slow’- campaign activated in 44 markets;
  • More than €25m direct community contributions worldwide;
  • The average accident frequency for production and on-site logistics employees continued to decrease from 0.88 accidents per 100 FTEs in 2013 to 0.80 in 2014;
  • €75m savings as a result of less energy use and water consumption in the past six years;
  • Customer savings of €20m through green fridges in 2014.


Protecting Water Resources

Average water use across the company’s 160 breweries fell to 3.9 hl of water per hectolitre of beer, marking the first time this figure has fallen below 4 hl and meaning the 2015 target has been achieved a year ahead of schedule. Building on this momentum, a more challenging 2020 target of 3.5 hl per hectolitre has been set.


Reducing CO2 emissions

Since 2008 carbon emissions in production have been reduced by 30% and approximately 20% of electricity in production is now from renewable sources. Alongside CO2 reduction in production, the installation of more energy efficient and environmentally friendly fridges across the world achieved a reduction of 155 million kWh and saved customers approximately €20m. One of the largest sustainability schemes this year was the installation of over 4,000 solar panels at the John Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster, making it the UK’s largest solar-powered brewery. Breweries in Da Nang, Vietnam and Araquara, Brazil have now transferred to biomass as part of the approach to decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.


Sourcing Sustainably

In 2014, 62% of hops were sourced sustainably with an ambition to reach 100% in the coming years. Local sourcing in Africa increased to 48% thanks in part to the launch of a number of sourcing schemes during the year. These include a five-year programme in Haiti which aims to help alleviate poverty among farmers by providing them with quality seeds, modern agricultural techniques and a guaranteed market for their crops. As a result, participating Haitian farmers have already increased their sorghum yields by as much as 100% and their incomes by as much as 75%.  Across the world, HEINEKEN’s local sourcing projects involved more than 120,000 farmers, benefiting more than 840,000 family members.


Advocating Responsible Consumption

The 44 country launch of the ground breaking, global campaign ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ in partnership with world renowned DJ Armin van Buuren was a key driver of the commitment to invest at least 10% of Heineken’s® media budget in its key markets on dedicated responsibility initiatives.


Promoting Health & Safety

During the year, we continued to reduce the frequency of accidents within production. As important, ‘Safety First’ is now a measured behaviour in performance reviews. A 2015 target of 2,000 sales managers to be trained in road safety aims to reduce the significant number of traffic accidents experienced across the business. An initiative within HEINEKEN’s French business has seen trucks fitted with additional side view mirrors to eliminate blind spot areas and a reversing camera to improve rear vision, which has already led to a 20% decrease in the frequency rate of delivery-related accidents.


Growing with Communities

In 2014 more than €25m was directly invested in communities around the world.  More than 16,000 employees in 40 markets took part in volunteering activities, representing approximately 60,000 hours of time. In the UK, HEINEKEN was one of the partners who launched the ‘Helping Britain Blossom’ campaign, which aims to help local people create, restore and maintain community orchards. These sustainable, long-term orchards will become a hub for local communities to enjoy and will also give up to 90,000 residents a place to grow their own produce and learn new skills.


Commenting on the results, Sean O’Neill, HEINEKEN’s Chief Corporate Relations Officer said, “Around the world 81,000 of our colleagues are engaged every day in building a successful, sustainable and responsible business.  Our strong 2014 financial results coupled with the positive delivery of our Brewing a Better World commitments demonstrate that sustainability is increasingly integrated within our approach to doing business.”


Download HEINEKEN’s full 2014 Sustainability Report (pdf)