Explore beer

Assuring our approach


The Directors of SABMiller plc engaged us to provide limited assurance on the information described below and set out in SABMiller’s Sustainable Development Summary Report 2015 for the year ended 31 March 2015. 

Our conclusion

Based on the procedures we have performed and the evidence we have obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe the Selected Information for the year ended 31 March 2015 has not been prepared in all material respects with the Reporting Criteria.

This conclusion is to be read in the context of what we say in the remainder of our report.

What we are assuring (“Selected Information”)


The scope of our work was limited to assurance over the information marked with the symbol ^ in the Sustainable Development (SD) Summary Report 2015.The Selected Information and Reporting Criteria against which it was assessed are summarised below. Our assurance does not extend to information in respect of earlier periods or to any other information in the ​2015 Sustainable Development Summary Report.

Selected Information

  • total water consumption in lager production (million hl);
  • water use to lager ratio (hl/hl lager);
  • total CO2e emissions from fossil fuel energy used on site for the production of lager (million tonnes);
  • CO2e emissions from fossil fuel energy used on site for the production of lager ratio (kgCO2e/hl lager);
  • percentage of female managers/executives;
  • number of production facilities with completed Water Risk Assessments, and percentage of production volume covered; and
  • percentage of sugar sourced from sugarcane meeting sustainable standards.

How the information is assessed (“Reporting Criteria”)

We assessed the Selected Information using SD Reporting Principles June 2015 (“Reporting Criteria”) dated June 2015a

Professional Standards and Independence

We have performed a limited assurance engagementb in accordance with ISAE 3000 - ‘Assurance Engagements other than Audits and Reviews of Historical Financial Information’ and, in respect of the CO2e emissions, ISAE 3410 – ‘Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statements’ issued by the IAASB and ICAEW Code of Ethicsc.

Understanding the Criteria

The Selected Information needs to be read and understood together with the Reporting Criteria, which SABMiller is solely responsible for selecting and applying. The absence of a significant body of established practice on which to draw to evaluate and measure non-financial information allows for different, but acceptable, measurement techniques and can affect comparability between entities and over time.

Work done

We are required to plan and perform our work in order to consider the risk of material misstatement of the Selected Information. In doing so, we:

  • made enquiries of SABMiller’s management, including the SD team and those with responsibility for SD management and group SD reporting;
  • evaluated the design of the key structures, systems, processes and controls for managing, recording and reporting the Selected Information. This included visiting 3 operating companies out of 29 to perform walkthroughs on the indicators and obtaining supporting information. For a further 3 operating companies we performed desktop reviews, selected on the basis of their inherent risk and materiality to the group. Interviews were held and supporting evidence was obtained to understand the key processes and controls for reporting operating company performance data to the group SD team;
  • performed analytical reviews over all 29 operating companies in scope;
  • performed limited substantive testing on a selective basis of the Selected Information at corporate head office and at 9 operating companies to check that data had been appropriately measured, recorded, collated and reported; and 
  • considered the disclosure and presentation of the Selected Information.

SABMiller’s responsibilities

SABMiller management is responsible for:

  • designing, implementing and maintaining internal controls over information relevant to the preparation of the Selected Information that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error;
  • establishing objective Reporting Criteria for preparing the Selected Information;
  • measuring and reporting the Selected Information based on the Reporting Criteria; and
  • the content of the Sustainable Development Summary Report 2015.

The corporate accountability and risk assurance committee of the board (CARAC) has reviewed the procedures established by management to prepare the Sustainable Development Summary Report 2015, and the Chairman of the CARAC has reviewed that report on behalf of the board of directors of SABMiller.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • planning and performing the engagement to obtain limited assurance about whether the Selected Information is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error;

  • forming an independent conclusion, based on the procedures we have performed and the evidence we have obtained; and

  • reporting our conclusion to the Directors of SABMiller.

This report, including our conclusions, has been prepared solely for the Directors of SABMiller as a body in accordance with the agreement between us, to assist the Directors in reporting SABMiller’s Sustainable Development performance and activities. We permit this report to be disclosed in the Sustainable Development Summary Report 2015 for the year ended 31 March 2015, to assist the Directors in responding to their governance responsibilities by obtaining an independent assurance report in connection with the Selected Information. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Directors as a body and SABMiller for our work or this report except where terms are expressly agreed between us in writing.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 

Chartered Accountants, London
9 June 2015

a The maintenance and integrity of SABMiller’s website is the responsibility of the SABMiller management; the work carried out by us does not involve consideration of these matters and, accordingly we accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the reported Selected Information or Reporting Criteria when presented on SABMiller’s website.

b A limited assurance engagement is substantially less in scope than a reasonable assurance engagement in relation to the risk assessment procedures, including an understanding of internal control, and the procedures performed in response to the assessed risks.

c Our work is in accordance with the ICAEW Code of Ethics, which includes independence and other requirements founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. We apply International Standard on Quality Control (UK & Ireland) 1 and accordingly maintain a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Our work was carried out by an independent team with experience in sustainability reporting and assurance.