SAB caring for people, environment and country through sustainable development
4 August 2010
THE South African Breweries Limited (SAB) is taking a hands-on approach to tackling economic and social challenges in SA by focusing on initiatives to, among others, promote the responsible consumption of alcohol, assist with water scarcity, drive enterprise development and help communities.
The company aims to help secure and protect a sustainable future for all through its contribution in these and other areas, with a clear understanding that promoting sustainable development initiatives underpins SAB's ability to grow and its license to operate.
"Behaving responsibly, conserving resources and contributing to communities are all an integral part of SAB's heritage. The interests of the business and those of communities are interlinked. Future business growth and success is dependent on the wellbeing of the people we serve and the health of our environment," says Andre Fourie, SAB's Sustainable Development Manager.
Parent company, SABMiller, recently launched the group's Sustainable Development campaign called ‘Ten Priorities. One Future.' The campaign seeks to raise awareness of its strategy and its achievements in protecting and securing a common future for all. SAB's activities in South African fall within these priorities.
The global Ten Priorities encapsulate how the group is putting into practice issues of Sustainable Development.
The ten priorities are:
1. Discouraging irresponsible drinking
2. Making more beer while using less water
3. Reducing our energy and carbon footprint
4. Packaging reuse and recycling
5. Working towards zero-waste operations
6. Encouraging enterprise development in our value chains
7. Benefiting communities
8. Contributing to the reduction of HIV/Aids
9. Respecting Human Rights
10. Transparency and Ethics
At a local level, SAB's' sustainable development efforts are driven by the company's strategic business objectives, key amongst which is to demonstrate leadership within society. As a leading South African corporate, SAB has an obligation to show leadership in every dimension of its business and to work for the benefit of retailers, consumers and South African society.
SAB will focus on all 10 global priorities but will concentrate on four of the priorities where it believes it can make the greatest and most immediate impact. These are discouraging irresponsible drinking, water conservation, encouraging enterprise development and benefiting communities:
1. Discourage irresponsible consumption: SAB is proud of the products we produce, which bring enjoyment to many and have long been at the centre of social unity and celebration. However, a small percentage of South Africans abuse alcohol and this has a disproportionately negative impact on SA society. SAB views this as completely unacceptable. As a result, in September 2009 SAB launched a hard hitting and far reaching strategy aimed at tackling the effects of alcohol abuse in South Africa. The strategy is based around a number of initiatives which focus on targeted actions that have a real and tangible impact on those they target, and that go beyond communications and education.
2. Water: Water scarcity is an issue in most parts of the world but is of particular concern in South Africa, which is categorized as a semi-arid country.
- SAB is a founding partner of the World Wildlife Fund's Water Neutral Scheme which encourages local businesses to voluntarily monitor and reduce their operational water consumption.
- Two of SAB's breweries are now quantitatively water neutral which they achieved by clearing alien vegetation which released the equivalent amount of water back into the water course.
- SAB is introducing company-wide reporting measures aimed at developing more effective reporting, monitoring and management of water consumption. The company has invested in additional metering to improve water efficiency to achieve a 25% reduction by 2010.
- SAB has also initiated an approach to encourage water reduction in its supply chain and the evaluation of best farming practices on our barley farms.
3. Enterprise development: This is a key contributor to the country's economic growth. SAB has for many decades focused on skills development to offer people a platform which empowers them and improves lives. One such example is SAB KickStart, a program designed to inculcate a culture of entrepreneurship amongst South African youth. Launched in 1995, the programme has empowered more than 22 696 young entrepreneurs and enabled the establishment of over 3 200 small businesses. The Taung Barley Farmers project in the Northern Cape is another such example. Established in the early 1990's to encourage local barley production and reduce reliance on imports, today the project spans 1,800 ha of land, and helps more than 100 smallholder farmers generate an income from barley and maize in the Taung region.
4. Benefiting communities: By investing in the well-being of communities through empowerment, Corporate Social Investment and partnership initiatives, SAB is investing in the prosperity of the business. In June 2009, SAB announced a Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) transaction called SAB Zenzele. The transaction is worth an estimated R7.3-billion and has created almost 39 000 new shareholders in the company, comprising retailers and employees. It was designed to be genuinely broad based, provide tangible benefits to participants from the first year and to support the normalization and regulation of the South African liquor industry.
In addition, the priorities to respect human rights and transparency and ethics are an essential part of every aspect of SAB's day-to-day business practices.
Notes to Editors:
SABMiller's Ten Priorities in detail:
1. Discouraging irresponsible drinking - building key partnerships to address irresponsible alcohol consumption and its detrimental impact on the lives of people.
2. Making more beer using less water - as a brewer, water is a primary ingredient and therefore the growing scarcity of this resource is a risk to the business and to communities.
3. Reducing our energy and carbon footprint - we aim to become more efficient by exploring cleaner sources of energy. At the same time we will save costs and resources and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Over the last two years, SAB has improved its electrical efficiency by almost 10% across the business in support of the national imperative to save electricity.
4. Packaging reuse and recycling - packaging is an essential part of producing a high quality product but we are mindful of its environmental impact.
5. Working towards zero-waste operations - Much of the waste in our production process is a valuable resource to other industries, particularly farming and food. We therefore work on the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.
6. Encouraging enterprise development in our value chains - we can make a significant economic impact within communities if we extend enterprise development beyond our operations to our suppliers and distributors.
7. Benefiting communities - improving the quality of lives in communities can have a positive impact on the prosperity of the business.
8. Contributing to the reduction of HIV/Aids - the health and wellbeing of employees, communities and suppliers is important to us. Programmes have been implemented to ensure this.
The final two priorities - respecting human rights and transparency and ethics are an essential ingredient in every aspect of our day-to-day business practice.
9. Respecting human rights - a non-negotiable throughout the business and value chain
10. Transparency and Ethics - this is key to ensure we are perceived as a reputable company.
This is a SABMiller subsidiary news release, first published in its local market on 04/08/2010.