Our progress and performance are overseen by the corporate accountability and risk assurance committee of the board (CARAC)
At SABMiller, our purpose is to bring refreshment and sociability, improve livelihoods and help build local communities.
We have a proud beer heritage. Our brewmasters make beers our consumers love by truly understanding local tastes. That’s why we believe the value in beer for us and our communities is local. We know that by helping the businesses in our value chains – and their local communities – to grow, our business will grow too.
When they prosper, so do we.
Society faces many challenges to growth and prosperity that cross national borders, including climate change, water scarcity and access to good quality jobs. Business – with its global reach and resources, links across the value chain, and its relationship with consumers – can and must play its part in tackling these complex issues.
Later this year, the international community will define a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, for the first time, will recognise the role of the private sector in addressing global challenges. SABMiller, alongside other progressive businesses, has sought to contribute to the drafting of the SDGs and we are committed to playing an active role in helping to achieve them. We welcome the focus on a broader sustainable development agenda within the new goals, particularly on the role of micro and small businesses in delivering sustained, inclusive growth and job creation.
Tackling shared risk to unlock shared opportunity
Our new sustainable development strategy, Prosper, is aligned with many of the SDG themes. Through five shared imperatives we aim to tackle the issues that are most material for our business at a local and international level.
We do not face these challenges alone, which is why we call them shared imperatives. Prosper is embedded in our business strategy and broadens our focus beyond the direct impact of our own business to how we can drive change across our value chain and beyond. We have set ambitious targets and are committed to learn, listen and collaborate to shape, deliver and scale local solutions.
Enabling small business to thrive
Small businesses are critical to economies, to communities and to large businesses like SABMiller. Across the world, we have direct buying or selling relationships with approximately 1.5 million small enterprises. Our long-term growth is dependent on the ability of retailers, distributors, suppliers and farmers to survive, grow and prosper with us. Through programmes such as 4e Path to Progress, run across six countries in Latin America, and Go Farming in Africa, we are helping retailers and farmers to thrive by facilitating access to skills, financial services and technology.
Promoting moderate and responsible consumption
We will continue to play our part in addressing the harmful effects of irresponsible drinking on individuals, families, and society in all the countries in which we operate. We believe our policies on employee behaviour, product innovation and marketing practices are among the most comprehensive in the industry, and we aim to reach all of our beer consumers with effective communication campaigns and partnerships to encourage moderate and responsible consumption.
Driving resource efficiency across our value chain
Water is a vital ingredient in brewing. This year we used an average of 3.3 hectolitres (hl) of water to produce 1 hl of lager, surpassing our target to reach 3.5 hl/hl by 2015. But we also act outside our breweries to tackle shared water risk: working at scale in partnership with local stakeholders to secure shared water supplies. In absolute terms we reduced carbon emissions from on-site energy use by 35% between 2008 and 2015.
Innovation in our agriculture crops
The projected rise in the middle class from two billion to five billion by 2030 – largely driven by developing markets – will put further pressure on natural resources. We are driving innovation on barley varieties and farming practices. In Africa, we have pioneered the use of traditional crops, such as sorghum and cassava, in beer, creating new markets for small-scale subsistence farmers who can now sell surplus crops, boosting their income and food security. Through a new exchange programme, in partnership with the Royal Society in London, we hope to identify, nurture and grow local African scientific expertise to drive the next innovations in agriculture, renewable energy, water security and sanitation.
Our soft drinks business is also critical in delivering Prosper: last year Azunosa, our sugarcane farming operation in Honduras, became the first producer in Central America to achieve certification from Bonsucro®, the global organisation that promotes sustainable sugarcane.
Aligning Prosper with our core commercial strategy
We believe strongly that if we are successful in putting Prosper at the heart of our business, we can secure our long-term success and make a sustainable and measurable difference to the communities and ecosystems in which we operate.
That is why all of our businesses have a role to play, from Australia to Zambia, and from supply chain to sales, to deliver Prosper. This report sets out our approach to tackling each of our five shared imperatives, and how Prosper is integrated into our business strategies at a global, regional and local level.
Strengthening safety governance
We are improving our safety governance and processes with new standards and monitoring. Everyone should be able to return home from work safely and we deeply regret that there were 29 fatalities in the year, the majority of which were caused by road traffic accidents. We are determined that we should take further action to tackle this as a top priority. Find out more here.