“Climate change is the most pressing issue confronting our planet and could impact the natural resources we rely on to brew our high quality beers. More than ever, we see an opportunity to use sustainability as a catalyst for innovation,” Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, said.
“Our 2025 Sustainability Goals and 100+ Accelerator will complement each other, providing solutions for environmental and social challenges so we can build a company to last for the next 100+ years.”
The 100+ Sustainability Accelerator aims to solve 100 challenges by 2025 by supporting “promising ideas and high
potential technologies” from scientists, technologists, and budding entrepreneurs, according to AB InBev. The first set of challenges will be released in June 2018.
The accelerator program will also run annual “boot camps” in nine markets, followed by a 10-week program for select entrepreneurs to test and scale solutions.
"We know we cannot accomplish our comprehensive sustainability goals alone,” AB InBev’s chief sustainability & procurement officer, Tony Milikin, said.
“As a global brewer operating in more than 50 countries, we are excited to draw on our entrepreneurial spirit and to collaborate with governments, NGO partners, universities and innovators to tackle some of the world’s most important challenges.”
Specifics of sustainability goals
• Smart Agriculture: 100% of AB InBev’s 50,000 direct farmers will be “skilled, connected and financially-empowered.” AB InBev will ensure its farmers are taught good agricultural practices and technologies to improve their agronomic, operational, and environmental performance as well as provide access to financial tools needed to sustainably manage a successful business and produce a high-quality product.
• Water Stewardship: 100% of the mega brewer’s communities in high stress areas will have measurably improved water availability and quality, which relies on collaboration with local authorities, other water users, and NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
AB InBev has reduced its water use to 3.09 hl/hl on average in over 200 breweries over the past five years, with plans to drive down its water usage further by 2025.
• Circular Packaging: 100% of its products will be in packaging that is returnable or made from majority recycled content. Through light-weighting and packaging reduction initiatives from 2012 through 2017, AB InBev removed more than 140,000 tons of material from its packaging globally. All of its breweries also adhere to zero waste, achieving over 99% recycling rates, the company reported.
• Climate Action: 100% of purchased electricity will be from renewable sources and a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions across its value chain. In terms of reaching its renewable resources goal, the company has made progress with the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in place in the US and Mexico. Today, about 50% of its US operations purchased electricity comes from renewables – enough to brew more than 20 billion 12 oz. servings of beer each year, AB InBev said.
Hitting its target of a 25% reduction on CO2 emissions will be the equivalent of taking more than 1.5m cars off the road every year, according to the brewer. Between 2012 and 2017, the company reduced its energy usage by 10%.