Our approach

DB is home to a close-knit team of over 500 people who produce and distribute sustainable, high quality beers, ciders and RTDs that consumers love. We want to brew a safe and healthy workforce by attracting, growing and retaining our talent, fostering an inclusive, safe and healthy culture, and being future ready.

Our progress

Our people

2019 saw DB build on its future of work programme and launch a number of initiatives to help grow and develop our workforce. We were proud to celebrate our company values by giving our people an extra day of leave each year, called an ‘Enjoyment of Life’ day, to do whatever brings them joy. We also established a new employee recognition programme that celebrates people within our business who demonstrate our values in their work. We received over 80 nominations and awarded over 30 spot prizes throughout the year to staff who went above and beyond and truly lived our values in their day-to-day roles.

We continued to attract, grow and retain our talent by refreshing our on-boarding and induction process, recruiting a senior talent sourcing expert, and increasing the number of internal promotions made. We also recruited seven new graduates into our Asia Pacific Graduate Programme for 2020 and partnered with Tupu Toa to host two interns in our Supply Chain function. Tupu Toa is an innovative internship programme creating powerful career pathways for Māori and Pasifika scholars, connecting them into corporate and professional sectors.

Our annual climate survey captures feedback from employees on topics including personal development, job satisfaction, management, innovation, reward and recognition, collaboration and team work. In 2019, our employee engagement index remained unchanged from 2018 at 77% favourable. Our performance enablement index was 71% favourable, decreasing from 77% in 2018. Survey feedback indicated that we have more work to do on improving our processes, systems and tools, and driving better cross-functional collaboration. This is a key focus for the business and its leaders in 2020.

Inclusion and diversity

Our inclusion and diversity agenda continues to grow and is a business priority for DB. In 2019, we appointed an I&D ambassador to lead this area of work and joined HEINEKEN’s global I&D community to share knowledge and create a roadmap for 2020 and beyond. This will formalise much of the work we have done to date, which includes inclusive leadership training, hosting networking events for women in the beverage industry, running Pink Shirt Day celebrations, and partnering with Diversity Works. We have also maintained equal pay for men and women since we closed our gender pay gap in 2018.

Core to our ongoing approach is better understanding the challenges and opportunities for I&D in our business by including questions on this topic in our annual climate survey. In 2019, we had a 74% favourable response to the statement: ‘There is equal opportunity for people at DB’.

Health, safety and wellbeing

We have an established health, safety and wellbeing management system that focuses on eliminating the potential for harm and enabling holistic wellbeing. Zero harm is the only acceptable target and ‘safety first’ is our top priority.

We take a risk-based approach to safety at our sites, which means that we proactively identify our highest risks and put mitigation plans in place to address these. With a sales team of around 100 on the road each day, one of our biggest risks is driver safety. In 2019, we continued to implement telemetry devices to track driver behaviour, such as total kilometres travelled, acceleration and deceleration, and routes travelled. Our team receive driver training and regular telematics reports to identify any areas for improvement. We also advocate for safety leadership at every level of the organisation to drive greater accountability for safety in our business.

Workplace stress has been identified as an area for improvement in our annual climate survey and we are working to address this through our mental health and wellbeing programme. During the year we became a foundation partner of Mentemia, which is an app developed by Sir John Kirwan that provides digital mental wellbeing coaching and support. Through the year, we ran five workshops with Sir John and the team at Mentemia to provide wellbeing tips and support to our people, and to ensure the app content reflected the needs of our workforce. Our people received full access to the Mentemia app during the COVID-19 lockdown period and this will form an important component of our wellbeing approach moving forward.

We are working to achieve compliance with ISO45001 to ensure our health and safety management system meets a high standard.

Our targets and performance

Key measures 2020 target 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Accidents 0 3 1 4 3 10
Accident frequency rate (accidents per 100 FTE)* 0 0.34 0.19 0.79 0.58 1.75
Warnings, fines or penalties for non-compliance 0 0 0 0 0 0

*Includes Joylab

Respecting human rights

We believe that respecting human rights across our value chain is not only the right thing to do, but makes good business sense. It can help us manage risk and creates opportunities to be an employer and supplier of choice. The introduction of modern slavery legislation in the UK and Australia also demonstrates growing scrutiny on business from government, while increased media attention on human rights abuses in global supply chains has brought the issue to the attention of consumers.

At DB, we are committed to brewing a better New Zealand and running our business in line with the HEINEKEN values and business Code of Conduct. It was within this context that we ran our first human rights impact assessment in 2019 and established a due diligence process to identify and manage risks and opportunities over time. We have developed an action plan focused on addressing our high priority issues and will be reviewing our progress annually.

Case study: celebrating diversity in sport with the Wheel Blacks


As part of the excitement around the 2019 Rugby World Cup, our people joined the Wheel Blacks, New Zealand’s wheelchair rugby team, for a special match at Parafed Auckland. Parafed is located just across the road from our Waitemata Brewery, and is New Zealand’s oldest and largest disability sport organisation. The afternoon brought people together and served as a great reminder that sport is for everyone to enjoy. Check out the highlights video to see how we fared against the experts.

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