SABMiller sets out ambitious new sustainability targets

09 Jul 14

Commits to supporting half a million small businesses, world-class water efficiency, and cutting total carbon footprint - SAB in South Africa to contribute to targets

SAB has made a renewed and enhanced commitment to sustainable development, today outlining its support for small businesses; encouraging moderate alcohol consumption; promoting shared water resources; driving carbon and waste management; and improving sustainable land use.

This commitment is in line with the global SABMiller announcement today that the world’s second largest brewer would be scaling up its globally-recognised sustainable development programmes with a set of ambitious new targets to achieve by 2020.

On a global scale, SABMiller which is recognised as a leader in embedding sustainability into its operations, has pledged to:

  • Small businesses: Directly support over half a million small businesses, to help them grow, improve their livelihoods and drive local development
  • Moderation: Encourage moderate and responsible alcohol consumption by scaling up global and local programmes to reach all SABMiller beer consumers
  • Water: Achieve a world-class water efficiency target of 3.0 litres per litre of beer and secure the water supplies it shares with local communities through watershed partnerships at every site that faces water risks
  • Waste: Reduce the carbon footprint of  the entire value chain from grain to glass by 25% per litre of beer, and 50% across all breweries
  • Land: Measurably improve food security and resource productivity by developing targets by crop and growing region

In South Africa, SAB will support these targets through the following commitments:

  • Small businesses: Support over 56 000 small businesses to enhance their business growth and family livelihoods. Through its existing enterprise development programmes, SAB has, to date, impacted 25 500 small businesses.
  • Moderation: Reach beer consumers with effective communication campaigns and partnerships to encourage moderate and responsible beer consumption.
  • Water: Reduce water use to 3 litres of water per litre of beer and 1.8 litres of water per soft drink at its soft drinks division, Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI).  SAB’s current water efficiency performance is 3.6 litres of water per litre of beer and 1.92 litres of water per litre of soft drink. The company also aims to secure water supplies to all of its facilities through a detailed site by site risk assessment and partnerships to tackle water risks shared with local communities.
  • Waste: Reduce its carbon footprint per litre of beer by 25% across the value chain
  • Land: Improve the amount of malting barley grown and other key brewing crops per hectare, while reducing inputs such as water, energy and fertiliser, in key areas.  SAB will also aim to improve food security for small-scale farmers who supply the company by helping with income generation and increased production.

This new programme, branded Prosper, is the latest evolution of the company’s approach to sustainable development, which is a key element of SABMiller’s business strategy.  At its heart is supporting the role small businesses play around the world in generating economic growth and reducing poverty. SABMiller is using its supply chains from farmers to retailers to drive inclusive growth, sustainable resource use and alcohol responsibility.

Alan Clark, Chief Executive Officer said: “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.

“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.”

SAB MD Mauricio Leyva said: “In South Africa, SAB is recognised as one of the leading corporate citizens and a company that strives to be a force for good within society.  We take a leadership role in promoting the health and wellbeing of the communities in which we operate and believe that by empowering communities, we contribute to securing a sustainable future for all, including the future of our business.

“SAB must continue playing a leading role in tackling the challenges faced in the country.  With a shared ambition and shared action from all of us, we can help local communities, future generations and our own business to prosper, ” said Leyva.

Andy Wales, Director of Sustainable Development, 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 pat

Notes to editors

The 2020 targets set out how SABMiller plans to address five ‘shared imperatives’ – big challenges that SABMiller believes are shared by society, business and government.  The company seeks to address them both locally and internationally in partnership with suppliers, customers, consumers and communities.

The five shared imperatives are:

  • 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 programmes 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 prioritising low energy fridges
  • Support responsible, sustainable use of land, by creating secure, sustainable supply chains and by helping farmers to increase profitability, productivity and social development

Full details available at