Heineken boosts supply chain sustainability monitoring

4 April 2012

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4 April 2012 | Adam Leach

Dutch brewer Heineken has launched a new monitoring system to enable it to monitor risks and sustainability within its global supply chain.

The company, which produces both the Heineken and Amstel brands of lager, has implemented a new IT platform that will enable it to store and share data across buyers on its suppliers in over 100 countries. The system, developed by EcoVadis, will store information on each supplier and rate their performance against 21 specific environmental and social criteria. The launch follows a pilot scheme of the programme using 150 of its strategic suppliers.

David Spacey, global procurement director at Heineken, said in a statement: “Our buyer’s discussions with suppliers have included environmental and social issues since 2005, but after recently benchmarking against other companies’ standard we chose to raise the bar.”

The criteria by which suppliers will be assessed against are split into four categories: Environmental criteria such as water use, biodiversity, and sustainable consumption; social criteria, such as labour relations and working conditions; ethics, such as corruption and bribery; and it will also assess suppliers’ supply chains in terms of their environmental performance and social practices.

Also this week, drinks company Bacardi reported its sustainability performance. The firm's CSR report published yesterday, revealed the company had only partially achieved the majority of its 2011 targets. It had aimed to have all suppliers of agave, molasses and light cane distillate to have complied fully with its code of practice or have an action plan in place. It did not detail

The company has now decided to work towards getting its sugarcane suppliers certified by the Bonsucro Production Standard, which is a global standard that commits signatories to respecting human rights, managing input and production sustainably and actively manage biodiversity. Two of its three main blue agave suppliers are now members of Sedex, a database that allows companies share data on suppliers’ ethical performance.

This year Bacardi plans to establish a program of socio-economic support in Fiji to help its sugarcane growers.

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