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Reducing our environmental footprint

All our products depend on sustainable supplies of natural resources, notably water. To safeguard these assets and ensure we can meet the growing demand for our products, we run a substantial environmental programme.

We continued to make progress against a number of key environmental benchmarks. For example, we reduced our average group water consumption from 4.79 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer to 4.75, against an industry average of 5.0. Recycling schemes contributed to this success and we now have group-wide guidelines for reclaiming and recycling water, based on internationally recognised standards of good practice.

Significant steps have also been taken to further lower our greenhouse gas emissions. In South Africa, for instance, we are intending to implement a major fuelswitching scheme at one of our breweries that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 800,000 tonnes over a 21-year period.

To cut the commercial and environmental costs of waste, we have introduced a new and more systematic waste management programme at our breweries in Asia and Africa. This involves auditing each stage of the production process to identify opportunities to reduce or recycle the 12 different categories of waste we produce. More ecologically friendly packaging has also been introduced. This has included the use of recyclable and reusable materials, as well as lighter packaging. The South African Breweries Ltd, for example, has reduced the weight of its ‘handy bottles’ by 12%.

SABMiller group average water consumption for lager beer

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