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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.

Award-winning environmental management

The Central American Environment and Development Committee (CCAD) has awarded our Salvadoran company, Industrias La Constancia, the Regional Cleaner Production Award. The business also received an honourable mention in the water category. The CCAD commended the company for its 67% increase in the recycling of post-production factory materials in the last year, its 58% reduction in the amount of solid waste sent to landfill and its 62% cut in water use in the last eight years.

The award recognises the company's efforts to keep improving its production processes to protect the environment. It highlights its achievements in creating waste reduction and recycling programmes and installing a recycling centre in the brewing plant.

Nurturing small distribution businesses

Our Salvadoran business, La Constancia, is improving its distribution and supporting local communities and businesses through its ’minibodagas’ and owner-driver schemes.

Minibodagas are manual distributors delivering La Constancia’s products in high-density areas where truck delivery is difficult. Each has a ‘territory’ of about one square kilometre with around 35 customers. The country has 24 minibodagas in total, each hiring an average of four people. La Constancia provides finance and logistics to help set up the minibodagas and each must formally employ all its workers.

In addition, La Constancia’s owner-driver scheme helps some of the company’s drivers to become entrepreneurs in their own right. Owner-drivers receive assistance from the brewery to set up their business and purchase a truck.This belongs to the company for the first two years after which there is a transition of ownership transferred to the driver. Drivers employ their own crew – normally two or three people per truck – to help with distribution.

Nurturing small bakery businesses

A man working at a bakery

The neighbouring communities of our Salvadorian business, Industrias La Constancia (ILC), are disadvantaged with over 40% of the inhabitants living in ‘champas’ (houses made of plastic, boxes and tin). Over 25% of local people are unemployed and education levels are low. In response ILC has developed an entrepreneurship programme and has installed a baking centre for people living near its brewery.

The aim of the centre is to help participants to increase their income by starting their own small bakery businesses. The scheme offers six weeks of training on business-related topics, run by the NGO FUNDES, which has entrepreneurship expertise. During the training, participants learn about cost control, budgets, marketing, market research and other topics that will help them make their small business more successful. FUNDES uses an innovative training approach that helps participants to overcome their fear of failure owing to lack of education.

Working in partnership to remove underage labour

Man harvesting sugar canes

In El Salvador, and other parts of Latin America, there is a tradition of youths working alongside their families in the sugar cane harvest. The ILO has stated that sugar cane harvesting is hazardous and is not suitable for people under 18 years old. Typically many of the underage cane cutters are boys aged 14 to 17 years old. Our Salvadorian operation, Industrias La Constancia (ILC), whose business includes soft drinks, has been working in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company to remove underage labour in the supply chain.

This multi-stakeholder effort includes our supply chain partner, the sugar mills foundation FUNDAZUCAR. The cane growers and sugar mills have agreed procedures to remove underage labour from their activities. The strategy also incorporated the education of all participants in the industry, especially sugar cane growers and rural families, together with the provision of schooling and recreational opportunities in the rural communities.

This partnership has successfully reduced underage labour by around 70% since 2004. However, despite good progress from all parties working hard to address this issue, the challenge remains as it is culturally embedded in the supply chain.

Our priorities: Human rights

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People using a SABMiller community centre