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Heineken launches 2030 Brew a Better World ambitions

Heineken raises the bar with new commitments on the environment, social sustainability and responsible consumption on a path to a net zero, fairer and healthier world
  • Achieve carbon neutrality in production by 2030, full value chain by 2040
  • Zero waste-to-landfill globally by 2025
  • Positive water impact in all water-stressed areas by 2030
  • 30% female leaders in senior management by 2025, 40% by 2030 on the path to gender balance
  • Full roll-out of equal pay and fair wage programme by 2023
  • Social impact initiative in 100% of markets every year
  • Two zero-alcohol options in the majority of markets by 2023
  • Advance partnerships in all markets to reduce harmful use of alcohol
  • Reach a billion consumers with responsible consumption messages annually; 10% of brand Heineken® media spend dedicated to responsible consumption

Heineken has announced its 2030 Brew a Better World programme, a new set of ambitious commitments aimed at driving a positive impact on the environment, social sustainability and the responsible consumption of alcohol.

As an important part of the company’s EverGreen balanced growth strategy, the 2030 ambitions build on progress made since the Brew a Better World programme was originally launched in 2009.

“For over 150 years, we’ve been passionate about making a positive impact on the world around us. We know that we can only thrive if our people, the planet and the communities around us thrive,” said Heineken’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Dolf van den Brink. “We are moving into a decade with even more complex challenges. Our Brew a Better World vision for 2030 raises the bar and enables faster progress towards a net zero, fairer and healthier world. Our new commitments are woven into the fabric of our balanced growth strategy, EverGreen, putting sustainability and responsibility front and centre as we write our next chapter. I want to thank our enthusiastic and committed employees for their continued passion for this topic. Together, we will do our part to brew a better world.”

    1. On the path to net zero impact

    a. Carbon neutrality

Heineken recently announced a stepped-up ambition to decarbonise its production by 2030 and its full value chain by 2040. The company aims for all of its production sites[1] to become carbon neutral, maximising renewable energy and energy efficiency. As part of this effort, the company aims to cut its overall emissions[2] by 30% by 2030.

From barley to bar and taking a science-based approach, Heineken will focus on concrete actions to reduce its carbon footprint working closely with customers, consumers and suppliers.

To mark its commitments, Heineken is joining alliances to drive collective forward momentum. The company is a member of the Business Ambition for 1.5C, the Race to Zero, the Climate Pledge as well as RE100.

    b. Zero waste

Regarding circularity, Heineken pledges to eliminate sending waste to landfills from its 166 production sites by 2025. It will accelerate returnable packaging and will continue to develop innovative packaging such as its latest recyclable Green Grip packaging in the UK, which replaces single-use plastic rings in multipack cans, saving 500 tonnes of plastic every year.

    c. Positive water impact

Water is essential to life and critical to the brewing process. Therefore, water has  always been central to Heineken’s environmental commitments. As part of the 2030 targets, Heineken will further reduce its average water usage to 2.6 hectoliters per hectoliter (hl/hl) in water-stressed areas and 2.9 hl/hl worldwide. The company will also fully balance its water used in products in water-stressed areas as it is doing in Mexico, Spain, Egypt and Malaysia. It will also maximize reuse and recycling of its water in water-stressed areas and continue to collaborate with other stakeholders through water funds and alliances to support the health of watersheds.

Heineken has already replenished six billion litres of water through various projects and has a dozen sites in water-stressed areas that are fully water-balanced. It also recently joined the launch of the UN Global Compact’s Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-driven initiative to reduce water stress by 2050.

    2. On the path to an inclusive, fair and equitable company and world

    a. Embrace inclusion and diversity

Heineken’s 2030 commitments raise the company’s social sustainability ambitions including a continued focus on inclusion and diversity.

While today the percentage of women represented in senior management at Heineken has doubled from a decade ago, much opportunity remains. For the first time, Heineken is establishing an external gender commitment to increase women represented in senior management to 30% by 2025 and 40% by 2030 on the path to gender balance.

By 2023, at least 65% of country leadership teams in each region will be comprised of regional nationals with the aim of enhancing cultural diversity and local leadership representation. Also by 2023, all managers globally will be trained in inclusive leadership practices building on the thousands who have already received training to-date.

With the aim of ensuring all of its more than 80,000 global employees feel a deep sense of belonging, Heineken fosters a community of over 100 inclusion and diversity ambassadors. These ambassadors, in close partnership with their local leadership teams, help curate action plans that address locally relevant challenges to ensure continual progress on topics like culture, race, gender and beyond.

In support of its inclusion commitments, Heineken recently signed France’s most respected LGBT+ inclusion charter. In addition, America’s largest LGBT + civil rights organisation recognised Heineken’s Mexico team with a top rating for inclusive policies and practices.

    b. Fair and safe workplace

Heineken commits to equal pay for equal work between female and male colleagues. The company will have assessed all countries and have action plans in place for any remaining gaps no later than 2023.

Moreover, leveraging new, customized third-party assessments as a benchmark, every employee will earn not just a minimum legal wage but rather a fair wage[3] no later than 2023, with a focus on the most vulnerable communities.

Beyond Heineken’s direct employees, the company will continue its work to ensure fair living and working standards for third party employees and brand promoters in line with its commitment to the Consumer Goods Forum Human Rights Coalition and actions to date.

As in the past, Heineken will also continue its strong commitment to safety, human rights and business conduct.

    c. Impact on communities

Heineken is establishing social impact initiatives in every market supporting one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will also continue to support smallholder farmers by sourcing agricultural ingredients in Africa, aiming for a 50% increase in volume by 2025 compared to 2020.

    3. On the path to moderation and no harmful use of alcohol

    a. Always a choice

For Heineken, Brew a Better World also means empowering consumers by providing choice, transparency and with zero tolerance for the harmful use of alcohol.

Building on the success of Heineken® 0.0, as of 2020 Heineken has over 130 non-alcoholic line extensions. The company will continue to invest in innovations across its low and non-alcoholic portfolio to make it increasingly easier for consumers to reach for a low or non-alcoholic option depending on their preference and the occasion. By 2023, the company will ensure two zero-alcohol options are available in the majority of its markets.

    b. Addressing harmful use

In addition, Heineken continues to be strongly committed to tackling the harmful use of alcohol. Where it has businesses, Heineken will continue to cultivate local partnerships to address alcohol harm including topics like the prevention of underage drinking, drink driving and binge drinking.

    c. Champion moderation

Heineken will use the power and reach of its flagship brand and commits 10% of all Heineken® media spend to advance responsible consumption campaigns, to achieve the ambition to reach one billion people with moderation messaging every year.

Additional information about Heineken’s Brew a Better World ambition and 2030 commitments can be found here. The company will continue to publish progress against its commitments annually.

To learn more, please join the upcoming What’s Brewing Investor Seminar on 11 May at 14:00 CET / 13:00 GMT to learn more about it!

About Heineken

Heineken is the world's most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. Heineken is committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through "Brew a Better World", sustainability is embedded in the business. Heineken has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets. It employs over 80,000 employees and operates breweries, malteries, cider plants and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. Heineken has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on Heineken’s website. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

About Heineken South Africa

Heineken South Africa is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including Heineken®, Sol, Windhoek, Miller Genuine Draft, Amstel, Strongbow, Fox, Soweto Gold, and Tafel. Heineken South Africa is a joint venture between Heineken N.V. and Namibia Breweries. Heineken’s sustainability framework Brewing a Better World prioritises Health and Safety, Protecting Water Resources, Reducing CO2 Emissions, Responsible Consumption and Growing With Communities. Visit

[1] Includes breweries, soft drinks and malting plants

[2] Scope 1, 2 and 3

[3] A fair wage is often higher than the minimum wage and should be sufficient for a decent standard of living, covering the basic needs for the employee and his or her family: from food, housing and education to healthcare, transportation and some discretionary income and savings.

26 Apr 2021 16:58