Our business purpose is Brewing a Better NZ, through which we are committed to leading in sustainability, growing our people and enabling their success and enjoyment of life, and brewing products that delight our consumers.

During 2020 we reviewed our ambition to be NZ’s leading sustainable business and our roadmap. What we found was that we want to be even more ambitious, particularly around energy and water. We set ourselves three new ambitious targets to achieve by 2030 that we believe put us on a leading charge amongst large manufacturing businesses in NZ. This is to: 1) Source 100% of energy from renewable sources; 2) Balance 100% of the consumed volume of water that we use; 3) Create zero waste to landfill in production.

Our sustainability programme is led by our Managing Director, with responsibility for our focus areas shared across our executive team. The programme is coordinated by the Corporate Affairs function, which works closely with teams across the business to develop and implement our plans.

Focus area Responsible Functional Director
Brewing a safe and social drinking culture Corporate Affairs Director, Sales Director, Marketing Director, General Counsel and HR Director
Brewing lower carbon emissions Corporate Affairs Director, Supply Chain Director and Finance Director
Brewing with less water Supply Chain Director
Brewing a safe and healthy workforce HR Director
Brewing a sustainable value chain Supply Chain Director and Finance Director
Brewing prosperous communities Corporate Affairs Director

About our reporting

Our sustainability report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Core Option). This report covers our performance from 1 January to 31 December 2020. It covers the activity and impacts of DB Breweries’ main operating sites and sales offices, including: Waitemata Brewery, Tui Brewery, Monteith’s Brewery, DB Draught Brewery, Black Dog Brewing Company, Redwood Cidery and Tuatara Brewery. Unless stated otherwise, our reporting doesn’t include Joylab and Drinkworks.

Reliability and accuracy of data

We have processes governing the collection, review and validation of our non-financial data. This includes applying standardised definitions from HEINEKEN and involving subject matter experts to validate and challenge our data and processes. Where possible, standard or automated calculations and validity checks are built into our systems to minimise errors. Where we have concerns, we highlight them in the report. HEINEKEN’s internal audit function is involved in the annual review of the global non-financial reporting process, including reviewing the quality of control processes at various levels, data ownership and clarity of definitions. DB’s 2020 carbon footprint is pending verification by Toitu Envirocare. External assurance was not sought for our other 2019 disclosures.


We regularly review our material topics to understand what matters most to our stakeholders. The method for assessing the materiality of each topic follows GRI’s Materiality Principle, and in 2019, our materiality assessment was informed by: 

  • 15 stakeholder interviews with our people, customers, suppliers, industry groups, and government, media and community representatives 
  • internal and external data sources, such as our annual staff climate survey 
  •  benchmarking against external sustainability frameworks 
  • review of the reporting of our industry peers 
  • independent expert opinion

We also engage with our stakeholders during the year through a variety of channels and forums, such as industry group meetings and the relationships our teams have with suppliers and customers as part of day-to-day business operations.

Our material topics

In 2020 we chose not to reassess materiality, instead carrying our material topics forward from 2019. This decision was made due to the fact that we had assessed materiality at the end of 2019 and had completed other engagement exercises such as our climate change risk assessment in 2020.

The following topics are considered to be material for reporting in, in order of priority:

Safe and social drinking culture

Promoting moderate drinking behaviours and social change through partnerships, campaigns, innovation in low-and-no alcohol beverages, product labelling and responsible marketing. Learn more here.

Carbon and climate impact

Managing our resources, including reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste from our operations, and working with our suppliers and customers to do the same. Learn more here.

Product stewardship and packaging

The end of life design and recyclability of our products and materials. Learn more here.

Water stewardship

Reducing our water consumption and managing the impact that our business has on water quality. Learn more here.

Safe and healthy workforce

The health, safety and wellbeing of our people and the people we do business with. Learn more here.

Sustainable value chain

Working with suppliers that meet our environmental and ethical sustainability standards and buying locally. Learn more here.

Employment practices

How we recruit, develop and retain our people. Learn more here.

Prosperous communities

Our direct and indirect contributions to local communities, including partnerships, sponsorship and philanthropy. Learn more here.

Economic impact and tax

Our direct and indirect economic contribution to the New Zealand economy. Learn more here.


Ensuring that we encourage biodiversity through use of good practice such as regenerative agriculture. Learn more here.