DB Breweries Announces Bold Sustainability Ambitions

DB Breweries has today announced an array of bold new sustainability targets set against ambitious timelines to ensure environmental, social and responsible sustainability across all its operations.

These include the ambition to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources, to reach zero waste to landfill in production, and to balance 100% of the consumed volume of water that the company uses by 2030. The announcement coincides with the launch of DB Breweries’ 2020 Sustainability Report, which outlines plans for further action and radical reform by the business on climate change.

These plans, which are aligned with the global target to keep warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius and the NZ Climate Change Commission’s draft proposal, include a range of initiatives, from investing in renewable energy solutions at production sites to electrifying the company vehicle fleet.

“Aligned with the draft advice of the Climate Change Commission, we believe that, as a brewer, we need to make meaningful changes to actively reduce our carbon footprint by taking real action and not just buying carbon offsets," said DB Breweries Managing Director, Peter Simons, speaking at today’s announcement.

“Having read and submitted on the first draft of the Climate Change Commission’s advice to Government, we are encouraged that our approach is in several instances already ahead of many of the recommendations. But we want to be even more ambitious, particularly around energy and water. Previously as a company DB had set a goal to halve our carbon footprint by 2030 to 4,554 tonnes CO2 (from a 2018 baseline) and we are on track to meet and exceed this target, especially with recent initiatives such as moving from a coal boiler to biomass steam supply for our Timaru brewery,” said Simons.

“We are committing to a new array of environmental targets to reach carbon neutrality, zero waste status and net positive water impact that coincide with HEINEKEN’s new global commitments, also announced today, including being the first major brewer to pledge carbon neutrality in its full value chain by 2040.”

To help achieve the ambitious new water balancing goals, DB today announced a major new partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a science-based global environmental non-profit whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The organisation is focused on incorporating nature-based solutions to tackle environmental issues and leverage their partnerships to influence global decision-making. ​

DB has committed to be a long term investor into The Nature Conservancy’s Waikato Water Catchment Care project. DB will be one of the founding partners of the project, which aims to support Iwi and community conservation aspirations in the Waikato catchment.

DB’s contribution will initially help to fund the research and design elements of the project, and longer term the fund will look to help implement projects throughout the entire Waikato River catchment and deliver long term water quality benefits to the river system and wider Auckland region.

In addition to environmental targets, DB has also set strong commitments around social and responsible sustainability.

​In the responsible consumption area, the company has outlined new targets around availability of zero alcohol products, led by its market leading brands Heineken and Export, as well as ongoing partnerships addressing harmful use of alcohol and promoting moderation. This includes DB and the Heineken brands ongoing work to address drink-driving, partnering with Krukow Behaviour Design and “nudge” theorists to understand better why people drink and drive and design more effective interventions.

In terms of social sustainability, DB is committing to grow inclusive leadership through Inclusive Practices Workshops for all its people leaders, maintain its zero gender pay gap, maintain zero fatal accidents at work​, and implement a meaningful social impact initiative every year​.

As well as ensuring 96 per cent of its spend goes to local suppliers, DB invested over $375,000 across 17 different community partnerships, sponsorships and charitable causes in 2020, including in South Auckland, the home of DB’s head office and largest brewery.