Friday 30th September 2016                 Change text size:

Brewer SABMiller announces ambitious sustainability targets



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In order to effectively operate in a world that is facing a range of sustainability challenges, brewing firm SABMiller has announced a new set of targets for 2020, covering issues from water efficiency to supporting small businesses.

The business, which is the second largest brewer in the world, plans to embed sustainability into its core operations and the targets will demonstrate its progress. It already has sustainable development programmes in place but its latest targets will see these being scaled up.

SABMiller states that at the heart of the programme, which has been branded Prosper, is supporting the role small businesses play in generating economic growth and reducing poverty. To do this, it will aim to use the firm’s value chains to drive inclusive growth, sustainable resource use and alcohol responsibility.

Chief executive officer Alan Clark acknowledged the need for the business community to be involved in sustainability efforts and noted that in the long-term businesses well benefit from considering a wide range of issues.

He said, “Today society faces major challenged and the stakes are getting higher: poverty, water scarcity, climate change, food security and alcohol-related harm all demand urgent attention to secure a prosperous future.

“There pressing issues are shared by communities, businesses and governments and we must solve them together. Only those companies that are prepared to be part of the solution will be successful in the long-term.”

The targets include directly supporting over half a million small businesses, reducing the carbon footprint of its entire value chain from grain to glass by 25% per litre of beer and improving food security by developing targets by crop and growing region.

Additionally, SABMiller is aiming to achieve a world-class water efficiency target of three litres per litre of beer and secure the water supplies it shares with local communities.

The plans have been supported by WWF-UK, which described the ambition, scale and commitment outlined by the comapny as a vision that recognises the centrality of sustainability to delivering prosperity.

Jane Nelson, director of the CSR initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, commented, “The company of tomorrow creates shared values and opportunities not only for shareholders, but for people, communities and other partners throughout its value chain. SABMiller is doing this by making sustainable development part of core business strategy.”

Photo: Nob Nguyen via Flickr

Further reading:

Sustainable business is simply ‘doing business in a better way’

Unep: corporates and investors should join forces for sustainable business

Global businesses urged to better manage their natural capital

What gets measured gets managed: sustainability in 21st century business

Sustainability as a business benefit in the commercial property sector


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