Message from the Managing Director

Last year, I wrote that we found ourselves living in a changed and uncertain world due to the effects of COVID-19. As we launch this year’s report whilst COVID-19 continues to loom large over the world, I am proud to say that our values have never been stronger. Throughout the year, we supported our people, put safety first, and stepped up to help our community, customers, and suppliers in a rapidly changing environment. Despite some short-term setbacks in 2020, we remain on track to meet our ambitious targets in sustainability, aligned with our purpose to Brew a Better New Zealand.

Having read and submitted on the first draft of the Climate Change Commission’s advice to Government, I am encouraged that our approach is consistent, and our business is ahead of many of the CCC recommendations. However, there is some way to go as a country, and it is clear that if we are to achieve the ambitions of the CCC, it will take a joint effort of the Government, business and individuals to make the change as we all play a key part in making New Zealand sustainable in the long-term. In the context of the CCC report, we reviewed our ambition to be NZ’s leading sustainable business and our roadmap. 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.

As an example, we recently moved our DB Draught Brewery in Timaru from coal over to 60% carbon neutral biomass-based steam. While implementation of this was slightly delayed, this is a momentous milestone and will have a massive impact on our carbon footprint and allows us to shift our focus to finding a similar solution for our other major brewery – Waitemata. We also achieved a world first, partnering with our glass supplier Visy to create a clear flint glass bottle from 90% recycled cullet, saving 800,000kg of CO2e when compared to bottles made from virgin materials.

In 2020 we also make strong progress on our social sustainability commitments. In this report, you will read about the strong stance we made encouraging people not to drink Heineken if they plan to drive. This When you Drink Never Drive campaign was our highest level of spend to date, where each year we spend at least 10% of Heineken’s media budget on such campaigns.

On a personal note, I am thrilled to be serving on the Sustainable Business Council’s Advisory Board, an organisation we have been part of for many years now. Through our membership, we have gained many insights and ideas that have helped further our sustainability program, and I hope we can now inspire and enable other organisations in turn.

As always, I hope you enjoy reading our report, and welcome your feedback on our performance.

Peter Simons

Managing Director