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16 April 2013 | Adam Leach
Global brewer Heineken says it wants to “considerably” increase the amount of raw materials such as barley it buys from local suppliers.
In its Sustainability Report 2012 published this week, the company, which owns the Heineken, Amstel and Birra Moretti brands, identified sourcing as one of its four main sustainability challenges. Citing climate change and a rising global population as increasing the demand for raw materials, it said local sourcing will become increasingly important for brewers.
Writing in the report, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, CEO of Heineken, said: “Great beer begins with great ingredients. So sharing value means increasing considerably the level of barley, corn, sorghum, rice and hops that we source locally.”
Increasing the amount of raw materials sourced locally will enable the company to reduce both the distribution cost and the carbon footprint associated with them. It will also increase the value the company gives to the communities surrounding its operations.
In the report, the company revealed it had achieved a number of its targets for last year. It succeeded in completing the conceptual design for an energy efficient brewery, reduced the energy consumption of its fridges by 15 per cent and rolled out guidelines on life-cycle assessments for suppliers. It did not succeed in completing a pilot on becoming water-neutral, as it could not get a clear consensus among stakeholders on what this should mean.