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SABMiller Aims to Help the World ‘Prosper’ with New 2020 Goals

SABMiller has set new 2020 targets for its sustainable development programs. The new program, called Prosper, focuses on supporting the role small businesses play in generating economic growth and reducing poverty around the world. The world’s second-largest brewer says it is using its supply chains from farmers to retailers to drive inclusive growth, sustainable resource use and alcohol responsibility.

With its new set of goals, SABMiller has pledged to:

  • Directly support over half-a-million small businesses to help them grow, improve their livelihoods and drive local development.
  • Achieve an industry-leading water-efficiency target of 3.0 liters per liter of beer and secure the water supplies it shares with local communities through watershed partnerships at every site that faces water risks.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of its entire value chain from grain to glass by 25 percent per liter of beer, and 50 percent across all breweries.
  • Measurably improve food security and resource productivity by developing targets by crop and growing region.
  • Encourage moderate and responsible alcohol consumption by scaling up global and local programs to reach all SABMiller beer consumers.

“Today society faces major challenges 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,” CEO Alan Clark said in a statement.

The new targets detail how SABMiller plans to address five “shared imperatives” or big challenges that it believes are shared by society, business and government:

Accelerate growth and social development through the company’s value chains, with a focus on promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among women and disadvantaged groups.

  • Make beer a natural choice for moderate and responsible drinkers, by promoting robust standards and guidelines, launching new communications campaigns and supporting programs to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
  • Secure shared water resources for SABMiller’s businesses, local communities and ecosystems, by building a detailed understanding of water risks and creating community partnerships to manage them.
  • Create value by reducing our waste and carbon footprint throughout the value chain, driving down emissions from brewing, promoting sustainable packaging and prioritizing low-energy fridges
  • Support responsible use of land by creating secure, sustainable supply chains and by helping farmers to increase profitability, productivity and social development.

SABMiller is striving to tackle the above challenges through its partnerships with suppliers, customers, consumers and communities around the world.

“These 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, and that’s why this approach is integral to our business strategy,” Clark 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” said Andy Wales, Director of Sustainable Development, SABMiller.

With water being at the core of any brewery, it is no surprise that the world's largest brewers are taking care to sustainably manage it. MillerCoors - SABMiller's joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing Company- recently revealed that it now uses an average of 3.48 barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer, a 9.1 percent decrease from 2012. The company used short interval controls and improved efficiencies to save more than 1.1 billion gallons of water between 2011 to 2013. And he world's largest brewer, AB InBev, is also working hard on water efficiency. Recently, it set three new water-management goals to be met by 2017 through local stakeholder engagement, technology and research.


Aarthi is an Editorial Assistant at Sustainable Brands. She has nearly a decade of experience in creating and managing content across diverse media (web, video and print) for nonprofits and media houses in the US and India. Aarthi holds a… [Read more about Aarthi Rayapura]


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