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Latin America

  • Significant businesses with production operations
  • Selling operations and major export markets
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Water reclamation

Water plant

In 2008, our Colombian subsidiary Bavaria used 5.1 hectolitres of water for every hectolitre of beer produced. This figure now stands at 4.1 hectolitres. This improvement has been achieved through a variety of initiatives, including a new water reclamation programme at its Tocancipá Brewery.

A number of innovative ways to reuse some of the brewery’s waste water have been developed. Through developing a water treatment process which includes purification, reverse osmosis and disinfection, waste water can now be used in a number of brewery processes such as the washing of crates, the operation of vacuum pumps, evaporative condensers and the cleaning of dirty areas.

The project began in November 2009 and was completed in January 2011. Since completion, it is estimated that there has been a reduction of 22,000 cubic metres of fresh water used per month.

Protecting the local water supply

Complejo El Playón reserve in El Salvador

“Complejo El Playón” near San Salvador is a protected area which is important for the natural water recharge of the aquifer which supplies local communities with water. However, in recent years the area has witnessed environmental degradation due to deforestation and the creation of new human settlements within the park. This poses a significant risk to the local water supply.

In response to the increasing degradation and recognising the environmental importance of the park, Industrias La Constancia has worked with a number of local partners to implement an environmental payment scheme.

The scheme aims to recognise the environmental benefits of sustainable land use. This includes water protection and promoting biodiversity conservation. As part of the project, indigenous trees have also been planted and rangers have been appointed to monitor land use within the park.

Fleet optimisation reducing vehicle emissions

Aguila and Club Columbia distribution plant

In Colombia, Bavaria has been focusing on optimising its distribution fleet since 2006 by finding ways to move products more efficiently from its breweries to its retailers through better scheduling of deliveries and increasing delivery capacities.

This has allowed Bavaria to consolidate many of its deliveries, reduce the number of routes taken and, consequently, reduce the distance travelled by the vehicles transporting its products such as Aguila and Club Colombia. This has been reflected in a reduction of 45,000 tonnes of CO2e a year.

Strengthening local entrepreneurs

Woman behind a shop counter

Near to one of Industrias La Constancia’s distribution centres in Soyapango, the Veracruz community is an area of high levels of poverty and crime. To help address some of the problems, Industrias La Constancia has begun a programme to develop local entrepreneurs.

Working in partnership with a local NGO (ASISTEDCOS) a community survey was initially conducted to identify suitable beneficiaries for grants. During 2010, 25 new businesses were created in the programme, benefiting approximately 75 individuals and their families. The businesses were predominantly small retailers selling food and beverages.

In addition, the programme also includes the promotion of healthy activities for younger members of the community. This has included the donation of sports kits, footballs and goals for and equipment for music and dance lessons in the Community Centre.

Establishing peer educators

Workers in a training session

In Honduras, low awareness of HIV/Aids remains a challenge. In order to ensure employees have a good understanding of HIV/Aids, Cerveceria Hondureña launched a voluntary peer educator’s programme during 2011. As part of the programme, volunteer employees attended training sessions which improved their understanding of HIV/Aids. In total, 19 employees volunteered for the training and each individual was provided with 27 hours of training.

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Microcredit for shopkeepers

A local shopkeeper in Columbia

Bavaria Opportunities is a programme that provides access to credit for shopkeepers to help strengthen their business, increase their revenues and improve their quality of life and that of their families.

In Colombia, one of the main obstacles for micro-entrepreneurs is the lack of access to credit and other financial services. The opportunities to gain access to capital are scarce so they often have no choice other than resorting to informal loans which charge high rates of interest.

In August 2009, Bavaria piloted a micro-credit project at Comuna Uno in Bucaramanga. The results were so successful that one year later the programme expanded throughout Bucaramanga and its metropolitan area, Boyacá, Bogotá – southern areas – and Antioquia. It is gradually extending to cover the country.

A part of this project, Bavaria has formed a partnership with local financial institutions, including Financiera Comultrasan, Banco Agrario de Colombia and Bancolombia to grant small loans to informal, low revenue and growing micro-entrepreneurs who lack credit history, financial information or commercial guarantees. As a result, recipients are able to buy stock, purchase new equipment or repair existing assets, or use the funds for business growth.

As a part of this programme, entrepreneurs also have access to other Bavaria programmes, such as Educational Support for Shopkeeper’s Children and Grandchildren.

Human rights in the supply chain

Farmer in a grain field

Industrias La Constancia (ILC), in El Salvador, which has brewed Pilsener for more than 100 years, has worked in partnership with the El Salvador Sugar Association and the local government to ensure appropriate labour standards - and, in particular, a prohibition on underage labour – are in place within sugar cane plantations throughout the country.

We have worked in partnership with Coca-Cola to build awareness of the issue, monitoring the cane plantations and supporting education and alternative production projects. These are particularly important as they create viable alternatives for generating family income without relying on children's wages. Nearly 6,000 underage workers have so far been withdrawn from work as a result.

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People using a SABMiller community centre

Working with Small-scale Grain Farmers in Colombia

Small-scale Grain Farmers in Colombia

In 2008, Bavaria initiated its Grain Project to explore how it could better support local suppliers of malting barley to help ensure a sustainable long-term supply as well as increase levels of rural employment and economic development.

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Improving waste management and promoting recycling amongst suppliers

SAB Miller staff in a training session

In Ecuador, Cervecería Nacional has launched an awareness campaign for suppliers and contractors to raise awareness of procedures regarding the management of waste within the brewery. The training consists of a short course in which participants are taught the basics on the potential environmental impact of the brewery, what waste is and how it can be recycled and reused.

During the training, participants are also taught which wastes are considered hazardous to the environment, and how they should be segregated and treated properly to avoid contamination.

Following the training, suppliers were able to consider how they could help to minimise waste. For example, one supplier has evaluated and modified their plastic containers and they can now be returned for re-use.

Supporting ethics

A group of workers

Bavaria, brewer of Aguila, has developed a robust approach to business ethics over the past five years in support of SABMiller’s commitment to the UN Global Compact and recognising the benefits for developing trusting relationships with stakeholders and employees, and building reputation and corporate standing.

Since it first adopted its ethics policy and guidelines in 2006, over 14,700 employees, subcontractors and strategic suppliers have been trained in the company’s principles. Training has taken place at all breweries, distribution centres and offices and all senior managers, including the president, vice presidents and directors of the business, have participated in the process.

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Our priorities: Transparency & ethics

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Man giving a presentation

Turning waste into forest

Reforestation project at Peru

At our San Juan brewery in Peru, we are using waste from the production of Pilsen Callao – one of the country’s most popular beers – to support a substantial reforestation project in the local area, so contributing to conservation and biodiversity, and restoring the natural environment for the local community to enjoy.

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