VIDEO: SABMiller sets ambitious new sustainability targets

The world's second-largest brewer SABMiller, which owns more than 150 brands including Peroni, Miller Lite and Grolsh, has announced today (9 July) a set of new sustainability targets to cut water consumption and CO2 emissions by 2020.

The new initiative, branded ‘Prosper’, aims to tackle five ‘shared imperatives’: implementing a sustainable water efficiency policy and improved CO2 reduction targets, as well as encouraging responsible alcohol consumption, supporting local businesses, improving food security.

The plan increases water efficiency targets to 3.0 litres of water per litre of beer and 1.8 litres of water per soft drink. This builds on the brewer’s previous water achievements, which saw water use cut to 3.5 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer, a 25% reduction against a 2008 baseline.

Central to the new sustainability targets is carbon reduction. SABMiller aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its entire value chain from ‘grain to glass’ by 25% and cut CO2 emissions by 50% across all breweries, against a 2010 baseline, by 2020. The brewer has already achieved an estimated absolute on-site CO2 reduction of 29% between 2008 and 2014.

The brewer also plans to address issues of food security and sustainable land use to create a secure supply chain by helping local farmers to improve barley yields per hectare and reducing the required inputs of water, energy and fertiliser.

SABMiller director of sustainable development Andy Wales said: “Beer is essentially a local product, and we have deep roots in the local communities where it is brewed and consumed.

“Our business-focused approach to sustainability has already developed innovative models of watershed protection, created new beers using local crops such as sorghum and cassava, and driven significant cost savings from carbon and water efficiency. This is a natural next step to support our future growth path.”

SABMiller chief executive Alan Clark said businesses need to address poverty, water scarcity and climate change to secure a prosperous future: “Only those companies that are prepared to be part of the solution will be successful in the long term, and that’s why this approach is integral to our business strategy.”

In addition to its environmental aims, SABMiller’s targets include ethical and social concerns to directly support more than half a million small businesses through local development and promote responsible alcohol consumption for its beer consumers.

VIDEO: SABMiller’s on it’s new sustainability initiative ‘Prosper’:

VIDEO: SABMiller’s on the water-food-energy nexus: 

Matt Field

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