Heineken USA: Coalitions and Collaboration Key to “Brewing a Better World”

HEINEKEN USA President and CEO, Ronald den Elzen, will deliver the keynote at The Responsible Business Summit New York on March 26, 2018, highlighting the role of the C-Suite in driving shared purpose and the need for long-term coalitions to promote environmental and social progress.

According to den Elzen, while long-term partnerships are driving significant impacts across industries, regions and continents, businesses need to develop coalitions that have a 10-20 year vision to achieve transformational change. He will cite the example of “Brewing a Better World,” HEINEKEN’s approach for creating shared, sustainable value for the business and stakeholders, including employees, distributors, customers and consumers.

“Sustainability is woven into the ethos of HEINEKEN and the commitment to Brewing a Better World unites our 250+ brands with a respect for people, prosperity and the planet,” says den Elzen. “Back in 2008, we set sustainability goals for 2020 and we’ve been working hard to stay on path to hit those targets, using our global business and long-term partnerships as a positive force for change, from barley to bar.”

Brewing a Better World focuses on six areas where HEINEKEN believes it can make the biggest difference globally: protecting water resources, sourcing sustainability, advocating responsible consumption, promoting health and safety, growing with communities, and reducing CO₂ emissions.

On the latter priority area, HEINEKEN recently announced its ‘Drop the C’ program for renewable energy, which aims to grow the company’s share of renewable thermal energy and electricity in production from the current level of 14% to 70% by 2030. Since 2008, carbon emissions at HEINEKEN breweries have decreased by 41% and in 2017 the company has already reached its 2020 emission targets in production.

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In the U.S. specifically, HEINEKEN’s Brewing a Better World agenda focuses on:

  • Environmental sustainability: Promoting recycling and growing more places with sustainable green spaces.
  • Responsible citizens: Promoting responsible consumption and reducing alcohol-related harm including drunk driving.
  • Inclusive communities: Supporting projects and charities that build inclusive communities and celebrate diversity.

HEINEKEN USA promotes Brewing a Better World through partnerships with various organizations nationwide, including +Pool to help filter New York’s river water; The Recycling Partnership reaching over 580 communities and 29 million households with recycling support; Formula 1® to promote Heineken’s campaign for responsible drinking, “When You Drive, Never Drink”; and Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and others to promote diversity.