Release date: Jun. 05, 2020
Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev), has long been committed to creating notable impact through its key sustainability initiatives in India by empowering communities, building resilient supply chains, and protecting the environment. This World Environment Day, as the global health crisis continues to exact a toll on our communities and demonstrates how our future is interlinked with the health of our planet, the company’s purpose to bring people together for a better world is more resolute than ever. The brewer shares its progress towards its 2025 Global Sustainability Goals, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), across key pillars of Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, Climate Action and Circular Packaging.
Speaking about the company’s efforts, Reena Gautam, Vice President Procurement & Sustainability - South Asia & APAC, said, “Sustainability is not just a part of our business, it is our business and as a global brewer, we are using our scale and capabilities to answer the urgent call to tackle the environmental crisis facing humanity and bio-diversity at present. Through our ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals, we strive to be a positive force in catalyzing change – connecting farmers to technologies and skills, ensuring quality water and access in high-stress communities, deploying innovations to increase recycling content for a more circular future, and adding renewable electricity capacity to our breweries. We understand that no one organization can tackle these challenges alone and hence we are collaborating with governments, NGO partners, and innovators to advance the SDGs. We rely on a healthy environment and are deeply connected to our communities where we live and work and through these efforts, we aim to build a better, brighter and greener future.”
In 2020, the company continues to be focused on creating better solutions that will benefit the communities and the environment — today and for the next 100+ years. Here is how the company is driving meaningful impact through its 2025 Sustainability Goals:
Empowering farmers: Through its SmartBarley initiative, AB InBev has supported 1200 Barley growers across the barley belt of India by leveraging data, technology and insights to help them improve their productivity, livelihood and efficient use of natural resources. With a focus on upskilling more than 1100 farmers, AB InBev, with scientists and researchers from the Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research (IIWBR), conducted training sessions on best packaging practices and pest & disease management techniques. Over 400 farming households have shown significant improvement in their overall health and nutrition by inculcating methods of vermicomposting and kitchen gardens.
During these testing times, by working closely with farmers to ensure safety and hygiene practices are maintained, AB InBev has achieved 100% of the intended buyback in the defined quality specifications. With the pandemic disrupting the farming supply-chain, the company is assisting the farmers with best practices of storing their harvested crops followed by ensuring all barley procured from them is in a safe and hygienic environment.
As part of its start-up and partnership outreach programs, which mobilizes partnership to deliver breakthrough advancements, AB InBev works with associations including Kisan Hub, BanQu, FOSS, Zoom Agri to upskill farmers and its field team.
Commenting on the partnership and the work currently being done, Sachin Shende, CEO – KisanHub, said, “AB InBev's Smart Agriculture Sustainability goal has taken a holistic approach to address the twin challenges faced by farmers on adapting to climate change and keeping farming financially viable by upskilling them and empowering them financially. KisanHub's technology partnership with AB InBev focuses on helping their team collect necessary data from the field and enable Agronomists to provide right advice to farmers on growing quality Barley sustainably. We are proud to be partnering with a committed and highly motivated team of AB InBev to support them on their mission to solve this global challenge.”
Cultivating Water Stewardship: To improve quality water access in stressed communities, AB InBev aims to create water recharge capacities of at least 600,000 KL over the course of this year across five locations in India. This includes establishing watershed replenishment structures ranging from on-farm ponds to check dams and promoting conservation and management of water and soil for smart, sustainable agriculture. Expanding on its efforts, the company continues to work closely with local and global partners including ICRISAT, FORCE and LetsEndorse to implement innovative solutions and enable communities to increase their water resilience in the face of climate change.
Additionally, in association with Jaldhaara Foundation and WaterHealth India, the company has installed WaterHealth Centers (WHCs) in underserved and under-served areas to provide drinking water, positively impacting over 100,000 citizens in water-stressed areas in the Bangalore Municipality. Within 1.5 years of establishment, the project intervention has helped provide 72 lac liters of safe and purified drinking water. The initiative also works towards facilitating overall community development and influence behavioral and attitude changes. Awareness drives are conducted at schools, Anganwadi Centers and with women help groups, among others, on the importance of using safe and clean drinking water and prevention of health hazards and unhygienic practices.
The company also brews its beers at the highest level of water efficiency and has set ambitious water efficiency targets across its operations. Working directly with the local community has resulted in the villages benefitting from the net water balance of the aquifer in which AB InBev’s breweries function.
Speaking on the association with AB InBev, Varun Kashyap, Co-Founder, Let’s Endorse said, “Following a proactive approach to water stewardship, our collaboration with AB InBev was conceptualized to offer longer-term solutions to water sufficiency in the semi-arid parts of Neemrana and Aurangabad. Water-sufficiency is known to be the most crucial precursor to improved agricultural yields, augmented incomes and overall prosperity and socio-economic growth of the communities. We are proud to work together with AB InBev in powering this multiplier effect across the various UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has been our joint commitment to improve the water security and sufficiency thereby creating sustained value for the communities in high-risk watersheds.”
Championing low carbon footprint: As part of its global commitment to secure 100% of the company’s purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025, AB InBev has replaced more than 50% of its power consumption with renewable electricity. In India, the company’s brewery, SPR, in Mysore, has achieved 60% renewable electricity adoption, successfully reducing its carbon footprint by over 3.5 million kgs. PALS in Aurangabad is AB InBev’s second facility in India to be powered through solar power. The project capacity for the solar panel installation at PALS is 526 KWp, which helps generate an average of 2000 Units per day. This implementation is equivalent to planting 27,000 mature trees that have the potential to absorb the CO2 quantum or driving passenger vehicles for 49 lakh km each year without any CO2 reduction.
Building a more circular future: AB InBev continues to explore inventive new solutions in its packaging supply-chain to increase recycled content in packaging, support recovery and reuse of bottles, while it continues to advocate for returnable solutions. AB InBev focuses on four key areas: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Rethink. Today, the glass bottles contain 35% recycled content while the cans are made up of approximately 65% of recycled material.
Helping our consumers and communities when it’s most needed: Reflecting its commitment to its communities, the company recently joined forces with State governments in the fight against the global pandemic, to equip those on the frontline including healthcare, civic and law enforcement personnel, with vital supplies. As a gesture of immense gratitude to these workers who are going beyond the call of duty to keep India and her citizens safe, AB InBev donated 73,500 litres of hand sanitizers and 25,000 FFP2 masks in Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka to positively impact more than 15 lakh frontline workers across these States.
With sustainability at the core of its business, AB InBev remains dedicated to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to help our communities and environment thrive, for the next 100 years and beyond.
AB InBev India, a proud part of Budweiser APAC