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Case studies

Local action

Our approach to sustainable development is to set out an overall framework but to give our operations the flexibility to implement programmes that best meet their local circumstances.

View the case studies below to see how we implement our 10 sustainable priorities locally.

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El Salvador: Partnering to promote responsible consumption

Teacher and children in classroom

A number of studies have demonstrated that people who consume alcoholic beverages in early adolescence have a higher probability of developing alcohol dependence more rapidly and at an earlier age. Therefore, interventions aimed at preventing underage drinking not only mitigate its acute consequences, but also reduce the likelihood of alcohol dependence later in life.

To address these issues, Industrias La Constancia formed a partnership with GLASSWING International to develop a pilot responsible consumption programme in four cities in El Salvador: San Salvador, Soyapango, Santa Tecla and Antiguo Cuscatlán. This initiative has brought together a number of key stakeholders to raise awareness and promote self-regulation and law enforcement around underage drinking and responsible consumption.

The programme aims to raise awareness of responsible consumption to both students and retailers. To date, approximately 3,000 primary and middle school students have completed a course on prevention strategies to avoid underage drinking. In addition, 575 community members participated in workshops about responsible consumption and 750 bartenders, waiters, and managers from over 50 restaurants, nightclubs, and bars were trained on responsible sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In 2011, Industrias La Constancia aim to expand the programme to continue raising awareness of responsible consumption across the country.

This programme has also been replicated in Honduras where Cervecería Hondureña has also partnered with GLASSWING to train retailers and raise awareness on the risk of underage drinking as well as responsible consumption by adults.

USA: Preventing underage drinking

Woman showing ID card

In the United States, where the legal drinking age is 21, MillerCoors have created ‘Respect 21’, a partnership wit the Responsible Retailing Forum and Dr Brad Krevor of Brandeis University and local distributors which gets retailers engaged in improving efforts not to sell alcohol to underage customers.

Retailers are given training materials to help them fill gaps in their current policies and practices. Mystery shoppers of legal age are then sent in to purchase alcohol. The mystery shoppers evaluate how well the staff did in asking for and validating their proof of age. They provide on-the-spot feedback, and a performance evaluation is sent the owner.

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UK and Ireland: Working in partnership to support public health

Woman eating dinner

In March 2010, SABMiller and its UK subsidiary Miller Brands gave strong backing to the UK coalition government’s first Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD). The Deal is a significant initiative and represents a new approach from the Department of Health to get industry, NGOs, the public health community and government working together to address public health challenges.

As a signatory to the PHRD, we have committed to a series of pledges focused on tackling alcohol abuse and encouraging people to drink responsibly. We signed up to five core commitments relating to food, physical activity, alcohol, and health in the workplace.

The pledge on alcohol says: “We will foster a culture of responsible drinking, which will help people to drink within guidelines”.

We have also signed up to four of the “collective pledges” that relate to our business: clear labelling of our products, support for the charity Drinkaware, strengthening responsible marketing practices within the industry, and supporting local partnerships to address social and health harms.

Finally, we have made three individual pledges, which focus on helping consumers make informed choices about alcohol, providing support for the responsible retailing of alcohol and supporting research into effective ways of promoting a culture of responsible drinking. We will publish details of our progress against all these commitments, recognising, however, that making pledges is just one step on the journey to success.

Uganda: Tackling 'non-commercial' alcohol

Man holding a bottle of beer

In some parts of the world, particularly in developing and emerging markets, we are concerned about the consumption of ‘non-commercial’ alcohol. In Africa, where many of our consumers live on less than a dollar a day, the World Health Organisation has previously estimated that about 50% of the alcohol consumed is ‘unrecorded’ and has noted that ‘traditional forms of alcohol are usually poorly monitored for quality and strength and in most countries it is possible to find examples of health consequences related to harmful impurities and adulterants’.

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South Africa: Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Woman and child

SAB Ltd have partnered with FASfacts, a local NGO based in South Africa to address the issue of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a set of physical and mental birth defects that result from a mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy. It is the most commonly preventable form of intellectual disability in the world. Most official medical and government guidelines around drinking during pregnancy recommend abstinence or low levels of consumption.

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Hungary: Digitally promoting alcohol responsibility

Alcohol Responsibility poster

Dreher Breweries has a well-established Alcohol Responsibility Programme which aims to initiate dialogue on responsible alcohol consumption among Hungarian adults, the government and NGOs.

As part of the campaign over the last year, Dreher developed two tools to promote responsible consumption. The first was an online Alcohol Knowledge quiz. Promoted on and Facebook, this quiz provides an interactive way for consumers to test and improve their knowledge of alcohol. Over the last year, the quiz received over 14,000 hits on the website and 4,928 users tested themselves on Facebook.

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India: Raising awareness of responsible consumption

'Thozha Vizhithukol' poster

To promote responsible consumption, SABMiller India has initiated a number of awareness programmes and partnerships with community stakeholders across the country.

Last year, SABMiller India initiated a partnership with the Social Organisation for Network Information and Communication (SONIC) and launched the ‘Thozha Vizhithukol’ campaign to create awareness among the people of Pondicherry and provide them with important information about responsible drinking.

The campaign aims to reach 200,000 people in four districts of Pondicherry, Olgarate, Villianur and Ariyankuppam over a period of five months. Activities across the four districts during the campaign have included street plays, exhibitions, a bar intervention programme, referral services, digital displays and wall painting.

Europe: Working with partners in Europe

People eating dinner together

SABMiller is a founding member of the EU Alcohol and Health Forum, a partnership between over 40 companies, NGOs, experts and public institutions whose purpose is to take action against alcohol-related harm.

Since 2007, we have undertaken 15 initiatives as part of this. This has included updating our training materials on self-regulation and commercial communication, training 4,000 European employees involved in marketing, sales, legal and corporate affairs, and translating our website into non-English languages.

In the past year alone, we have expanded a text messaging programme in Slovakia in partnership with the Slovak Ministry of Transport and Prima, a Slovakian NGO, that by enabling mobile phone users to get information about their blood alcohol content, discourages drink driving; set up an online discussion forum in Italy to provide information on the effects of alcohol consumption; and launched a website in Romania called ‘Find Your Balance!’ to deliver educational alcohol messages through online debates and live events. We are currently working to include responsibility reminders on our packaging labels and in our commercial communications by December 2011.

In November 2010 SABMiller spoke about its commitments to the forum members. Download the brochure PDF (1.38Mb) we presented on our consumer communication in Europe; it is now included in the European Commission’s Alcohol Library.

Peru: Encouraging road safety

People at road safety presentation

Backus has participated and supported a number of initiatives to promote road safety in Peru. In April 2010, Backus participated in a “Multisectoral responsibility for Road Safety” meeting organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Interior. At this meeting, Backus signed the Declaration of Lima which aims to form a monitoring committee to create public awareness of the importance of road safety.

In November 2010, Backus also participated in a similar meeting in Pucallpa, Madre Dios. The forum included presentations from representatives from key public institutions involved in road safety.

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