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Latin America

  • Significant businesses with production operations
  • Selling operations and major export markets
  • Associates

Award-winning water efficiency

Picture of awards

During the last 9 years, Industrias La Constancia has made investments in projects which have had a considerable contribution in the reduction of water consumption. These projects, along with environmental awareness programs, have been the support pillars to develop production processes with efficient uses of water.

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Revitalising a common water source

A river flowing over a weir

After the installation an effluent treatment plant, Cervecería Hondureña found that though the water they were discharging complied with national regulations, the river itself was contaminated as water discharged from the surrounding residential areas was contaminated. Therefore, the treated water from the effluent plant brought no benefit to the surrounding communities.

In response to this, Cervecería Hondureña worked with the local government to remove sewage water from the creek and sent to a treatment plant. In addition, the rubbish that was previously dumped along the road was removed and the road was paved.

The area has now become a centre for recreation for the local community and both the fauna and flora have gradually returned to the area.

Sustainable farming protects water sources

A group of farmers in a field

In Honduras, Cervecería Hondureña has joined forces with WWF to develop a series of joint projects aimed at reducing its water and energy consumption. One of these projects involves working with the farmers who supply sugar cane to our sugar mill which produces the sugar that we use in our Coca Cola plant to help them develop more cost effective and sustainable farming practices.

Through the optimisation of areas such as water use, fertiliser application and pesticide application, the farmers can increase efficiency and productivity of their land, whilst at the same time making their agricultural practices more environmentally sustainable.

Recycling partnership with Carrefour in Colombia

A recycling bank

Bavaria is part of a partnership – that we believe to be the first of its kind in Colombia – to establish a recycling programme for post-consumption packaging.

Working with CEMPRE, a not-for-profit association financed by large companies to promote a culture of reduction, reuse and recycling, the partnership will install 15 recycling centres in Carrefour supermarkets in Bogotá and Medellin. Local recycling companies – preferably small businesses – will collect material brought in by consumers and take it to the existing recycling facilities in each city, encouraging enterprise in this area.

The programme will be accompanied by a communication campaign to encourage consumers to bring the recycling material to the centres.

Nearing zero waste to landfill

Waste Panama nearing zero waste to landfill

In 2004, 17% of the solid waste such as cardboard, paper, plastic, PET bottles, wood pallets, Aluminium cans, paper and plastic bags and metals various, produced at Cervecería Nacional's brewery in Panama was sent to municipal solid waste landfills.

With a target to achieve 0% of waste being sent to landfill, Cervecería Nacional embarked on a campaign to further reduce, reuse and recycle the waste produced by their brewery. This began with an inventory of the brewery which helped to identify the recyclable potential of waste produced. This helped to reveal the quantities, the types of wasted product, the size and the site for collection of the materials.

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Building local maize sources

Farmer checking on his maize crop

In Peru, Backus are encouraging smallholder development by moving part of their hard yellow maize procurement from imports (predominantly from Argentina) to local crops grown by smallholder farmers.

Backus have partnered with CEDEPAS (The Ecumenical Centre of Promotion and Social Action) in the project. In 2009, 271 producers from the Jequetepeque valley received training and technical assistance in productive and organizational topics that seek to improve access to knowledge and promote partnerships to achieve greater efficiency and cost control. Of the total of participants, 225 sold their production to Backus. Thanks to the technical assistance received, the producers have improved their productive capacities, increasing their average yields per hectare between 7.5 MT/Ha to 8.7Mt/ha in 2009.

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Ensuring responsible sourcing of coal in Colombia

A large hopper full of coal

Coal is the primary source of fuel at the Bavaria breweries in Valle, Tibitó, Medellín and Boyacá in Colombia. As a significant buyer of coal and as part of its commitment to responsible sourcing, Bavaria undertook a detailed review of its coal suppliers to make sure they were meeting expected quality and production standards, including those relating to working practices and environmental management. Nine suppliers were reviewed as part of this process, which included site visits, against 11 performance standards.

During these visits, there were no cases of child labour identified. All the mines had a responsible person leading the technical and operational work, and the correct mining permits were in place. However, some issues were found relating to the physical condition of the mines themselves and potential issues concerning the health and safety of miners. In each case, the concern was raised with management and improvement plans requested.

Virtual school assists teaching in Peru

PC screen with Escuela Virtual Backus logo

In Peru, Backus have implemented a programme, Escuela Virtual Backus (Backus Virtual School), to support local education. This programme offers interactive educational materials for teachers with the objective to contribute towards improving the quality of Peruvian education. This is achieved by helping teachers develop new skills and by providing new educational resources that they can use.

Recently, 170 teachers graduated from the ‘Teacher Upgrade Programme’ (TUP). This programme is run by ‘Fundación Cisneros’ and is intended for Latin American elementary school teachers with the aim to promote their ongoing development. The TUP offers free online courses and educational TV programmes so teachers can improve their teaching skills on subjects that are relevant to the development of their communities.

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Awareness, education and prevention

A presentation in progress

In 2007, Backus in Peru established their policy instead of position statement on HIV/AIDS based on SABMiller’s global policy on this issue, the Global Compact Principles, the Millennium Development Goals and national legislation. In 2008, this was followed by an intensive communications campaign among all workers throughout the company, using verbal, written and electronic means.

In addition to the communications campaign, in 2008, employees were for the first time offered the possibility to have an HIV test incorporated into their routine medical examination programme and as a result, 76% accepted the voluntary test. Alongside working with employees, the awareness campaign has expanded to cover commercial partners and local communities.

To support this work, Backus was an inaugural member of the Peruvian Business Council in response to HIV/AIDS (CEVIH), established in 2009 with 15 other companies. The Council Presidency is occupied by the Backus representative.

Improving supplier standards in Colombia

Winners of ethical performance awards showing their certificates

In 2009 Bavaria presented ethical performance awards to 54 suppliers as part of its Rumbo Empresas Íntegras y Transparentes programme.

The aim of the programme, developed in association with Transparency for Colombia, the local chapter of Transparency International, was to implement and strengthen the culture of ethics in companies providing services to Bavaria. The course lasted 12 months, during which suppliers’ policies and procedures were reviewed to ensure they met Bavaria’s minimum standards, including those relating to business ethics and anti-bribery. More than 6,000 participants were involved in this training.

Our priorities: Transparency & ethics

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Man giving a presentation

Honesty with impunity

Poster featuring the character 'Tacho Sintacha'

In Honduras, Cervecería Hondureña has launched an internal communications campaign to raise awareness of corporate ethics. This communications campaign aimed to provide a permanent line of communications to employees to help them understand Cervecería Hondureña’s ethics policies and construct a culture of ethics whereby whistleblowing is perceived positively.

This campaign began with an internal competition for employees to name a cartoon character who would be an ambassador of ethics. 250 entries were made to the competition with the winning name decided as ‘Tacho Sintacha’.

Using the newly-developed character, the importance of ethics and whistleblowing has been communicated to employees through a number of mediums such as newsletters, banners and screensavers.

Our priorities: Transparency & ethics

See how we're being transparent in reporting progress

Man giving a presentation