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Heineken Doubles Renewable Energy Use, on Track to Meet 2020 Goals

Image credit: Heineken

Heineken has increased the percentage of renewable electricity it uses in its global operations from 9.3 percent in 2012 to 18 percent, to a total of 358,100,000 kWh, according to the beer maker’s recent sustainability report.

The increase in renewable energy use, as well as improved energy-efficiency projects, helped Heineken to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 119 kton in 2013, which the company says is the equivalent of nearly 2,400 trips around the globe with a fully loaded 30-ton Heineken beer truck. For example, some 99 percent of the 116,000 refrigerators the company purchased in 2013 were ‘green,’ resulting in an average energy savings of 40 percent over 2010 numbers.

Among other progress highlighted in the report: In 2013, Heinekens’s specific water consumption decreased to 4.1 hl/hl, down from 4.2 hl in 2012. In absolute terms, this improvement could provide almost 50,000 people in Singapore with their annual water consumption volume. Heineken says its Water Stewardship program for production units in water-scarce and distressed areas is under way in 18 production units with 10 breweries in Mexico, Spain and Ethiopia which have developed a Source Water Protection Plan in 2013.

According to the report, Heineken has increased its sourcing of raw materials in Africa to 46 percent - the company's 2020 commitment is to have 60 percent of raw materials used to brew their beers in Africa sourced locally. In 2013, the company started three new public-private partnership projects in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone linked to this commitment. Heineken says it currently sources agricultural raw materials locally in 11 operating companies and has agriculture projects running in eight countries across Africa, involving more than 100,000 farmer families.

By the end of 2013, more than 42,000 of Heineken’s local suppliers had signed the Supplier Code that outlines key elements of integrity, environment and human rights — an increase of 8,000 over the previous year.

Last year, Heineken launched its "Dance More, Drink Slow" digital campaign in partnership with DJ Armin van Buuren, which complements the existing "Sunrise" campaign. The company will invest 10 percent of its global media budget on its brand to promote moderate consumption.

“Heineken is a global company that spans many industries — agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and transport, to name just a few. Our focused approach to sustainability creates a strong platform for meaningful engagement and sharing ideas across all our stakeholders,” said Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO at Heineken. “This engagement is beginning to stimulate new ideas and thinking that have a clear, positive impact on our business and on society — our local sourcing initiatives in Africa and our highly differentiated approach to advocating responsible consumption are just two examples.”

In January, Heineken joined Coca-Cola, AB InBev, Diageo and several other members of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) in publishing a document that creates the industry’s first common framework for GHG emissions reporting. The framework aims to ensure beverage company alignment and compliance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol written by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Resources Institute.


Mike Hower is a writer, thinker, and strategic communicator most interested in the intersection of sustainable business and policy. Currently based in Washington, D.C., he is a graduate research fellow at George Washington University, where he is pursuing a masters… [Read more about Mike Hower]