Sustainability in supply chain is crucial - BBG's Coindreau

Mauricio Coindreau is Head of Procurement and Sustainability for Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG), part of AB InBev – the world’s biggest brewer

Mauricio Coindreau is Head of Procurement and Sustainability for Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG), which is part of AbInBev – the world’s biggest brewer

Tell us a little of yourself …

I’m an entrepreneur and experienced leader currently focused on sustainability, strategy, and procurement. I have an academic background, holding a degree in chemical engineering and also an MBA.

I’ve led various projects across different industries and have expertise in change management, stakeholder management, growth strategy and social impact investing.

… and your role at BBG

The biggest challenge of my role at BBG is making sense of supply chains and finding ways to make efficiencies, especially with prices expected to go up even further. My role consists of two parts: procurement and sustainability. 

The procurement side is taking a beating, because commodity prices are continuing to increase. Mitigating those costs through negotiation and supplier relationships has never been more important. 

We're constantly looking for small-to-medium sized vendors to add to our portfolio of suppliers, but we also know we're heavily reliant on technology and innovation to help get us there. 

On the sustainability side, the challenge is how can we move faster to net zero?

We're always working on ways to get closer to net zero. At the moment, here at Budweiser Brewing Group, we’re using technology and diversity to get us to that end goal. 

How important is sustainability to BBG?

Extremely. Two years ago, I co-founded a company called Ocean Bottle, which is designed to prevent 7 billion plastic bottles from entering the ocean. To date, we’ve collected more than 450 million plastic bottles. 

The idea is to create a waste infrastructure in communities that lack it. In impoverished communities, there's no garbage truck to pick up rubbish. People have no solution other than to throw it into a river, which then takes plastic bottles out into the ocean. 

With the sale of every Ocean Bottle, 11kg of plastic – the equivalent of 1,000 ocean-bound plastic bottles – is collected in impoverished coastal communities where plastic pollution is worst. 

Plastic collectors can exchange plastic waste for money or credit via blockchain technology to spend on tuition, tech goods, health care and micro-finance.

Who do you find inspiring?

I've had some great mentors throughout my career. I'm originally from Mexico, so that's where my career started. Under my first boss, I got the opportunity to launch the Amazon Mexico store. There were 10 of us stuck in a room trying to figure out how to build the biggest ecommerce store in Latin America. Gloria, my boss, was a revolutionary feminist in executive empowerment and showed me how to lead by example. 

Then, when I joined BBG’s global procurement and sustainability team in Switzerland, I had another female boss and mentor called Annabel, and she sparked in me the passion to find solutions for a circular value chain to our breweries, and so we began working closely with more startups and innovation solutions. 

Best piece of advice ever received?

In my first job after college, working with a small consulting firm, I was advised that you need to focus your efforts on the 20% of activities that solve 80% of your problems. I've tried to follow that advice throughout my whole professional career. 

You get a lot of noise at work, and there are problems left and right. But there are also opportunities and solutions left and right, so you need to keep focused on that 20% that will change the future of the industry that you work in.

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