Local action in Peru
Guided by our alcohol framework and working with other producers, NGOs and government ministries, Backus is involved with the formulation of a national code on self-regulation for commercial communication on alcohol. Having implemented its own code of communication, the business includes reminders on irresponsible drinking in its marketing material and has developed a consumer campaign to discourage irresponsible consumption.
During 2007, the company established a corporate ethics programme supported by a whistleblowing line that allows any breach of its ethical codes to be reported in confidence.
This commitment to high standards of ethical behaviour extends into the supply chain and Backus has engaged with suppliers on the group’s Responsible Sourcing Principles, holding workshops to discuss issues such as human rights and quality certification.
A key next step is to work with these companies to understand Backus’ extended energy and water footprints.
Waste and packaging
Backus has a strong record of environmental management, first receiving certification to the ISO 14001 standard in 1999. Over 95% of its waste is recycled or reused and 90% of its beer is sold in returnable packaging. Several brands have been ‘lightweighted’, achieving glass savings of up to 7% per bottle, and the business is involved in a national campaign to promote recycling.
Breweries in Motupe, Maltería and Pucallpa and the malting plant in Lima have installed treatment plants that allow waste water to be reused for cleaning and irrigation.
Energy and carbon
Boilers at the Ate brewery have been converted to run on natural gas. Several breweries have been upgraded to reuse more carbon dioxide in production processes and emissions from the new trucks are lower than legal requirements.
Backus is creating more jobs through its ‘Progresando Juntos’ programme to support the development of small businesses, including suppliers, customers, maize producers and craftsmen.
Under its corporate social investment programme, Backus has invested over US$2.5 million in different social projects during 2007/08. These include the digital educational programme. ‘Virtual Schools’, and disaster relief to communities affected by the earthquake in Ica in August and floods in Aguaytía in February.
While it has developed an HIV/Aids policy, given Peru’s low prevalence rate of 0.6%, Backus does not have a specific HIV/Aids programme in place. However, it does provide healthcare benefits to employees and access to a vaccination programme.
Backus promotes freedom of association and collective bargaining and works with unions to ensure strong employee relations. In September 2007, Backus was recognised for ‘excellence in human resources management’ by the Universidad Ricardo Palma.
Employing more than 4,000 people, Backus works hard to offer an excellent working environment and monitors progress through six-monthly ‘satisfaction surveys’.