Message from the Managing Director
As DB launches its latest sustainability report, we find ourselves living in a profoundly changed world due to COVID-19. The level of uncertainty and disruption is unprecedented, and there are still many unknowns in terms of how the pandemic will evolve, the scale of human life lost, and what the long- term impact will be on the New Zealand and global economies. I have, however, been heartened by the spirit and tenacity demonstrated by New Zealanders and our people during this time. We have come together to put people and safety first, we’ve provided support to those who need it most, and we’ve adapted to the changing business environment at pace.
I am also very proud of our business and people as I reflect on our sustainability performance in 2019. We have a good understanding of our carbon emissions and are taking targeted action in the areas that will have the greatest impact. Over the course of the year, our emissions fell by 11%. We became a foundation partner of Mentemia, a mental health and wellbeing app developed by Sir John Kirwan. We took bold action on reducing drink driving through our Heineken brand and award-winning partnership, Keys Down, Real Talk. And we built on this work by conducting extensive research into drink driving attitudes and behaviours in New Zealand, learning that 73% of Kiwis drive after drinking, and only 22% of Kiwis know the legal blood alcohol concentration limit. This research will be used to inform our important work in this area going forward.
I was also thrilled that DB won Champion Large International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards, the largest annual beer competition in the world. We received over 20 individual prizes for a range of products, which is a testament to our team’s ongoing commitment to producing high quality beers and ciders that consumers love. And we continued to innovate in the low and no beer category, with the highly successful launch of DB Export Extra Low Carb. Finally, 2019 brought us the Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Heineken as the tournament’s official beer partner. The tournament was truly exceptional and showed how sport has the power to unite us. During the event, we held our own special wheelchair rugby match with the Wheel Blacks, and you can see how we fared against the experts in the highlights video within our report.
While sustainability is a business foundation for DB, we have not been immune to the impact of COVID-19, and we have had to defer the completion of our waste water treatment plant and biomass implementation at DB Draught Brewery until 2021. We remain committed to delivering these projects along with mid to long-term plans of electrifying our fleet and forklifts, supporting our people to reduce their emissions, working with our suppliers to reduce our scope 3 emissions, and taking action on plastics in our value chain. I hope you enjoy reading our 2019 report and I welcome your feedback on our performance.