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Case studies

Ten Priorities. One Future.

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.

Farmers working in a field

Colombia: 'Super Returnables' campaign

Super Returnables poster

During 2008 our Colombian business, Bavaria, launched its ‘Super Returnables’ campaign with the tag line “The power to defend your pocket, increase sales and protect the planet”.

In replacing its returnable bottles, Bavaria has invested US$145 million to implement the most modern technology. First trialled in the relaunch of the Club Colombia brand in November 2006, super-returnables are lighter than the original returnable bottles. They are more robust: a new shape with flat panels reduces wear in transportation and they have a film to protect the surface of the glass. This means the bottles can be used twice as often – around 40 cycles instead of 20 – which reduces energy consumption.

Super-returnables were introduced alongside new plastic crates that are made out of 73% recycled material. The crates have enabled distributors, shopkeepers and sellers to introduce a new bottle deposit scheme.

El Salvador: Plastics recycling programme

A truck with plastics for recycling

Since 2003 our Salvadorian business, Industrias La Constancia (ILC), has been part of the National Recovery and Recycling of Plastics Programme. Working with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, the aim of the programme is to retrieve and recycle post-consumer plastic packaging waste.

In 2008, ILC provided 45% of the total amount of material recycled in the initiative, which collectively retrieved a total of 2,178.30 tonnes of post-consumer plastics over the year. This amount has prevented the emission of 1,485 tonnes of CO2, saved 10,890 barrels of oil and prevented 990 tonnes of landfill waste.

To further reduce the impact of its packaging waste, La Constancia has implemented a post-industrial recycling programme, initially implemented at the brewery. The success of the programme has led to its introduction in the soft drinks plant.