Harmful drinking is an issue of significant concern – to governments, society, and SABMiller. It is an issue that we are committed to helping tackle.
We support the aim of the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce harmful alcohol consumption by 10% by 2025. This is also an area of focus for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We recognise too that consumer preferences and values have been shifting to a greater focus on health. Beer brings people, adding to the enjoyment of life, but we must work proactively to meet all of these expectations.
We are committed to addressing harmful drinking through a mix of commercial and programmatic interventions, coupled with targeted regulatory interventions that we will support or seek out as effective ways to address particular types of irresponsible and harmful drinking. In late 2015, we began to systemise this – using data and public health modelling – into a framework that guides how we can best contribute to alcohol harm reduction depending on market and societal conditions. Pilots are underway in three markets to test the methodology and implement initiatives in response to the findings.
Our six core principles about alcohol help to guide every decision we make. They are:
Our beer adds to the enjoyment of life for the overwhelming majority of our consumers.
We care about the harmful effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption.
We engage stakeholders and work collectively with them to address irresponsible consumption.
We believe that alcohol consumption is for adults and is a matter of individual judgement and accountability.
- Information provided to consumers about alcohol consumption should be accurate and balanced.
- We expect our own employees to aspire to high levels of conduct in relation to alcohol consumption.
Partnerships to tackle the harmful use of alcohol
The root causes of harmful drinking are complex and vary widely between countries and cultures. More than 160 tailored local programmes for reducing harmful alcohol use bring to life our principles and comprehensive policies. We believe in a multi-stakeholder approach, and in almost every case we collaborate with local partners, including governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups, and public bodies such as the police. We believe that by working in partnership with other organisations our approach and programmes are more robust and credible, and more likely to achieve change.
We also believe that our brands can play a role in encouraging moderation. For example, this year in Ecuador, our Pilsener brand launched a campaign – El Capitán (The Captain) – that uses football to encourage consumers to be ‘captain material’, for example by nominating a designated driver. The campaign is promoted when the national football team plays, drawing a parallel between football and a group of friends.