SABMiller logo

Colombia Flag of Colombia

Map of Colombia Barmaid filling up a pint of Aguila beer
Colombia map overlay showing location of our operations
View operations

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.

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.

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.

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.

Read more about Working with Small-scale Grain Farmers in Colombia

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.

Read more about Supporting ethics

Our priorities: Transparency & ethics

See how we're being transparent in reporting progress