Heineken Sustainable Sourcing Producing Scope 3 Results

By Neil Perry & Sean Ashcroft
Heineken Strategic Sourcing Helping Sustainability Programme That is Underpinned by Europe-wide Digital Transformation

Alongside an increase in the use of renewable energy, the procurement and sourcing of materials is a significant factor in Heineken achieving its sustainability goals.

The company’s target as far as sourcing is concerned is to be using 100% sustainable barley and hops by 2030, and it is a key part of Heineken’s overall carbon reduction targets, impacting everything from water use to labour practices. Heineken is pledging to be fully carbon neutral by 2040 across its entire value chain, a goal enshrined in its strategy, called ‘Brew a Better World’. 

“Staying true to our company values and culture, we’ll continue to grow. But we will do so sustainably,” writes Dolf van den Brink, CEO. “We’ll never stop exploring new ways to innovate, create efficiency and reduce costs. We’ll stay curious, keep learning, and create new ways forward.”

The business is also expanding its strategy to work with suppliers to develop low-carbon production practices. Heineken has grown its low-carbon farming programme from 8 to 15 countries, and is aiming for 200 pilot farms by 2025. 

The programme is designed to cut the use of fertilisers, and to use regenerative and conservation agriculture techniques that enrich soil health and increase its ability to capture carbon.

After 2027, the most successful approaches will be scaled up and are planned to be adopted by around 10,000 farmers. 

The company then plans to share its findings and by 2030 equip and train more than 10,000 farmers and sourcing partners so they can adopt the best methods.

Geraldine Bernard, Heineken Global Sustainability Manager, says: “The Heineken Low Carbon Farming program will enable many of our partner farmers to explore new techniques that allow CO2 reduction and sequestration. I am proud to see that our partner engagement has led to the program growing exponentially."

Heineken sustainable packaging success

In terms of more-sustainable packaging the company is adopting a ‘reduce and replace’ approach regarding the procurement of glass, aluminium, plastic and paper, and leveraging design innovation to reduce emissions. 

The company’s sustainability efforts are also being enhanced by its wider – and very successful – digital transformation programme.

In Europe – where it has 25 operating companies – Heineken has transformed its European supply chain in four ways:

  • Simplifying the complexity of its product and packaging
  • Leveraging its network of operating companies 
  • Improving and harmonising its way of working 
  • Designing low-carbon footprint operations

In the first year of the transformation delivered some significant results, including a 52% reduction in the volume of unique bottles used by the company, and a 50% reduction in the amount of secondary packaging it used.

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