From barley to bar, more than 150 years, we are committed to making a positive impact on the world around us. We are aware that we can only progress if our people, the planet and the communities that surround us also progress
Our sustainability programme “Brewing a better world” was launched in 2009 and today forms integral part of our EverGreen business strategy, encompassing a set of ambitious plans and commitments made with the aim of achieving a positive environmental impact in the domain of social sustainability and the promotion of the responsible consumption of alcohol.
ON THE PATH TO NET-ZERO
On our journey to net zero, we are oriented towards concrete actions aimed at reducing our carbon footprint, in close cooperation with customers, consumers and suppliers.
We have committed ourselves to being completely carbon neutral in our production processes by 2030, and across our entire value chain by 2040, through the maximum use of renewables and increased energy efficiency. In the domain of the circular economy, thanks to major infrastructure investments, we have achieved zero waste to landfill in both our breweries – in Zaječar and Novi Sad. We place an emphasis on the use of returnable packaging and are continuing to develop innovative packaging, thereby reducing the amount of plastic we use each year.
PROTECTING WATER RESOURCES
With a contribution exceeding 95 per cent, water is the main raw material in the process of producing beer, which is why caring for this resource also means taking care to ensure the quality of the beverage that we produce. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, we encourage all pf our partners and suppliers to use water responsibly, and our commitments and targets in the field of protecting water resources are additionally defined by our Towards Healthy Watersheds strategy, which we are also implementing in Serbia. This programme is built on three principles: water efficinecy, water circularity and water stewardship.
We’ve reduced the amount of water used in our production processes by 75 per cent over the past decade, and we are striving to maintain this trend. On the other hand, the water we use in the entire process of producing beer is ultimately released into nature, but this is done in a strictly controlled manner. Our breweries in Novi Sad and Zaječar have special plants that purify the water and render it safe for the environment before it is finally released into nature.
We presented our new “Reservoir” national campaign in September 2023, which – apart from raising awareness of this important issue – will contribute to preserving and restoring Serbia’s natural water resources, improving their use and access to clean drinking water. In cooperation with NALED, as our longstanding partner, we will work to renovate public fountains and artesian wells, with a focus on Novi Sad and Zaječar, wastewater treatment, education, volunteer activities etc. Working in cooperation with the City of Zaječar and the Association “ZA česme” [FOR drinking fountains], we restored four artesian drinking fountains, some of which date back more than a century, and we will also restore another three.
WE EMBRACE INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
As part of our EverGreen strategy, embracing equality is a very important aspect of our journey to being a fair and inclusive company. On Heineken’s journey towards gender equality, the company has made its first ever public commitment to empower women and increase the percentage of women holding leadership positions in senior management globally to 30% by 2025 and 40% by 2030. We’ve already achieved these aims at the level of the leadership team in Serbia, having reached 40% of women in management positions, while this ratio is an ideal 50% at the level of senior management!
We have committed ourselves to ensuring equal pay for equal work for colleagues of both sexes and are strongly committed to the issues of safety, human rights and business conduct. Apart from workers employed directly by Heineken, we also ensure fair and equal pay and working standards for indirect employees as well as for our brand promoters.
With the aim of ensuring all 80,000+ employees worldwide feel a sense of acceptance by the company, Heineken has formed a team of over 100 inclusion and diversity ambassadors, who help curate action plans that address locally relevant challenges.
At Heineken we are establishing social impact initiatives that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which are in line with the mission of our company. We are actively engaged in the creation of an optimal business climate and environment through joint dialogue, where the implementing of initiatives on the issue of packaging waste management are of particular importance to us.
More than 85% of the raw materials that we use for the production of beer at our breweries in Zaječar and Novi Sad are sourced in Serbia, while 100% of the suppliers we collaborate with have signed the Heineken Code of Business Conduct, thus confirming that they operate in accordance with the highest standards, and with respect for human rights and the environment.
RESPONSIBILITY AND MODERATION
On the road to responsible consumption and no harmful use of alcohol, at Heineken we always offer a choice. We are investing in innovation in our portfolio of non-alcoholic beverages, and through our Heineken 0.0 brand we ensure that all our consumers always have the possibility to choose. For us, the slogan “Brewing a better world” also means empowering consumers by providing choices, as well as communicating transparently and with zero tolerance for the harmful use of alcohol. Moderation, responsible consumption, is of fundamental importance to our entire industry and at Heineken we support and promote it in all our activities.
As a producer of beer that’s present in most countries, it is our responsibility and ambition to brew a better world together, with partnerships, a positive contribution and limiting negative impacts. At the same time, we believe that we’re on the right track as a supporter and partner of the local communities where we operate, placing sustainability and responsibility at the heart of our business as we write our next growth chapter.
WHEN YOU DRINK NEVER DRIVE
With the aim of raising awareness of the importance of the responsible consumption of alcohol, we joined forces with the Auto-Moto Association of Serbia on a campaign entitled ‘Kad ide tura, ne ide gas’ [When you drink never drive]. This is the first partnership in Serbia between the beer industry leader and the national association of drivers, representing an innovative step on the issue of responsibility.
Through various channels of communication and exclusive video content, but also innovative activities at driving schools throughout Serbia and at the branches of AMSS and AMS Insurance, the messages of our campaign have so far reached more than two million drivers in Serbia. Trophy-winning racing driver Nikola Miljković, the youngest ever champion of the FIA International Hill Climb Championship, also joined the campaign with the aim of contributing to further strengthing and increasing the visibility of our messages with his example of responsible conduct, but also with his credibility as an experienced driver.
Given that in business, just like in life, a reliable partner is essential, this campaign represents a step forward in educating drivers about the responsible consumption of alcohol and conscientious conduct in traffic, and is also a way of achieving our ambitious goal of reaching all of the more than three million drivers in Serbia.