Heineken UK reports CSR progress in sustainability storybook

Sustainable sourcing and mental health awareness are some of the key areas touched upon in Heineken UK's new 'sustainability storybook', which outlines the brewer's progress on tackling major social and environmental issues.

Heineken UK’s 2017 sustainability story, produced in a sleek 65-page document, focuses on efforts undertaken in the past year to make a difference in society.

The brewer, which uses a third of the UK’s crops of apples in ciders such as Bulmers and Strongbow, claims that work with farmers ensured 79% of its cider apples were sourced from sustainable farms. Elsewhere in the report, Heineken reveals that a campaign to promote awareness around social and mental health in the workplace has seen the firm train 30 mental health champions in 2016.

“Companies have a big role to play in being a positive force for change. For us, this is what being a sustainable company is all about,” Heinken’s corporate affairs director David Paterson said. “We’re continuing to step up our efforts and looking at how we can use the influence of our entire business – our brands, people, pubs and partners to move the dial on some important issues.”

Open Your World

Heinken’s storybook notes a series of achievements in its attempts to reduce water and energy consumption. It claims that water usage has been reduced by 21% across all UK brewing and cider making sites, while energy efficiencies have led to a 32% reduction since 2015. A foray into sustainable innovation, meanwhile has seen Heineken’s breakthrough pub cellar dispense technology installed at 2,500 British pubs, reportedly saving 35 million pints of water.

The storybook highlights areas of progress in Heinken’s social agenda, such as a responsible drinking marketing campaign with F1 legend Jackie Stewart which reached “millions of people”, and a £100m community investment into revitalising pubs across the country which created nearly 800 jobs. Heineken is also a member of the Neighbourly social media platform which helps connect communities with companies through local charitable, environmental and social enterprise projects.

The company’s flagship beer, Heineken, delivered the Open Your World campaign last year which aimed to spark global discussion around issues such as climate change.

Creative reporting

Heineken is no stranger to shaking up its sustainability reporting methods. Earlier this year, the brewer published its latest sustainability report alongside a financial report for the first time, with the document highlighting rapid business expansion alongside a decrease in emissions.

The company’s US operations recently turned to gamification to share the success stories of the Brewing a Better World campaign.

The 2015 iteration of Heineken’s sustainability report was accompanied by a rap music video penned by Kevin ‘Blaxtar’ de Randamie. Blaxtar lucidly tells a tale of Heineken’s comprehensive approach to sustanability, rapping about how company growth can go hand-in-hand with water consumption and carbon emissions reductions.

George Ogleby

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