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.
El Salvador: Award-winning water efficiency
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.
In November 2009, SABMiller and WWF launched Water Futures, a global partnership for tackling water scarcity.
The partnership, which is part funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), acting on behalf of the Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, builds on existing work undertaken by SABMiller and WWF in South Africa, Colombia, Honduras and El Salvador.
Ghana: Innovation and new technology saves water
In recent times, Accra Brewery has implemented a number of measures and embarked on innovative ways to use water more efficiently.
Notable actions and measures completed have included the installation of new water meters in all user departments to allow for more accurate monitoring and control of water usage. A new Brominator has also been installed which removes slime in pasteurizer water to reduce the frequency at which Pasteurizer water is dropped and replaced with fresh water.
In addition to these installations, the Brewery has purchased a cooling tower to recycle pasteurizer water which is expected to reduce water consumption by 10-15% as it uses water recycled from the manufacturing process.
Honduras: Revitalising a common water source
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.
Honduras: Sustainable farming protects water sources
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.
India: Rochees water replenishment project
At its Rochees brewery in the water-stressed Alwar district in Rajasthan, SABMiller India has embarked on a natural recharge project to protect the water supply for the brewery and local farmers.
The initiative is currently the largest in the region. When complete, it’s expected to recharge 300 million litres of water a year – the same amount extracted each year by the brewery – spread over a catchment area of about 120 hectares. The project involves the construction of three dams in a wasteland area to facilitate natural recharge and replenishment of water aquifers using the natural terrain and geology to trap water.
The project aims to demonstrate how low-cost technology can promote and enable natural recharge. Traditional water recharge using artificial means (such as drilling ‘recharge shafts’) can be prohibitively expensive, particularly in developing countries. Introduction of this technology is supported by working with local communities to demonstrate better water efficiency techniques, particularly for agricultural use.
The project is being conducted in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management.
Tanzania: Intensive campaign improves brewery efficiency
Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, is facing long-term water shortages, exacerbated by problems with the distribution network. Water quality can also be poor with high levels of groundwater salinity.
In response to these local conditions, Tanzania Breweries have launched an intensive, on-going in-house campaign to use less water to brew beer. In addition, they have set themselves a target to use 4.5 litres of water to brew a litre of beer.
The company recently installed a state-of-the-art electronic energy-management system and implemented a brewery-wide awareness campaign for its employees. The campaign includes a specially designed comic to bring water-saving message to everyone and aims to involve employees in both water awareness and data collection.
Tanzania Breweries are part of the Water Futures partnership with the WWF which aims to engage with local stakeholders and build schemes to protect water in Dar es Salaam.
As well as improvements in water efficiency, Tanzania Breweries have also set up water points at their breweries so that the communities living nearby have access to a clean and reliable water supply. Currently, it is estimated that more than 10 cu.m of water is collected from these points per day.
USA: MillerCoors Water Stewardship Month
During September 2009, MillerCoors celebrated the company’s first annual Water Stewardship Month. Each of MillerCoors’ 10 brewery locations and corporate facilities linked up with local non-profit organisations and hosted volunteer events designed to improve water quality.
Within their local communities, MillerCoors’ employees helped to clean up rivers and beaches, restore stream beds, test water quality and plant trees, bushes and perennials in preservation areas. In total, 528 employees volunteered for a total of 1,658 hours during Water Stewardship Month.
In Chippewa Falls, employees cleaned up debris alongside a half-mile stretch of the Duncan Creek, collecting five truck loads. In Albany, volunteers placed 300 storm drain markers on a major street to alert residents that chemicals deposited into the storm drain could jeopardize water quality.
MillerCoors also invests in watershed quality, education and conservation efforts nationwide through partnerships with The Nature Conservancy and River Network.
Making more beer using less water 00:05:22
Making more beer using less water. Why it's a priority for us, the action we're taking in Tanzania.