Anheuser-Busch InBev closing in on meeting global environmental goals

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BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Anheuser-Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD) today announced its progress toward achieving a set of aggressive three-year global environmental goals set in 2009 as part of its Better World commitment. Core among these goals is a leading-edge water-usage target of 3.5 hectoliters of water for each hectoliter of production by the end of 2012. In 2011, the company’s average water use was 3.71 hectoliters per hectoliter of production, which represents an 8.2% reduction versus 2010, and a 13.7% reduction against its 2009 baseline or of the equivalent of some 9,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools[1]. The company is on track to reach the savings it committed to achieving by the end of 2012.

As part of its environmental efforts, AB InBev aims to meet its ambitious global goals to reduce energy use, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase its recycling rate.

  • AB InBev is well on its way to achieving its ambitious goal of reducing its energy use per hectoliter of production by 10% by the end of 2012. In 2011, the company achieved a 5.2% decrease in energy use on a per hectoliter basis (megajoules per hectoliter), representing an 8.7% overall decrease compared to 2009, its baseline year.
  • The company also cut its greenhouse gas emissions per hectoliter of production by 5% in 2011, which represents a total reduction of 11.5% since 2009. Therefore, not only has AB InBev achieved its goal of reducing CO2 emissions per hectoliter of production by 10%, it did it one year ahead of schedule.
  • Finally, the company is closing in on meeting its goal of a 99% recycling rate – it reached 98.2% in 2011 – by continuing to eliminate material losses, improve packaging efficiencies and determine cost-effective alternative uses for raw materials and byproducts.

“We are in the final stretch to meet our global environmental goals, which is an important milestone for AB InBev. Setting these ambitious, measurable targets brought our Better World strategy to life and has united our colleagues around the world in pursuit of a common purpose,” said Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev. “The collective efforts of our 116,000 colleagues has sparked innovation and created the focus required to achieve our ambitious global environmental goals by the end of 2012. We are closing in on achieving our three-year targets as we continue to drive sustainability and strive to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.”  

AB InBev steadily reduced its global water usage rate over the past year by employing a mix of engineering improvements, operational innovations and strong awareness and behavior-driven actions to optimize efficiency in every brewery and soft drink facility. The company’s unique system-wide process — Voyager Plant Optimization (VPO) — drives efficiency at our facilities through uniform processes and measurable standards for operations, quality, safety and the environment. AB InBev called upon the passion of its employees and engaged them to participate in the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day (WED) across operations. AB InBev’s global celebration of WED in 2011 involved more than 60,000 employees and resulted in more than 700 facility and community environmental projects in 21 countries, implementing numerous best practices across its global operations to help conserve natural resources.

Several breweries in key geographies are driving company-wide progress:

  • In the U.S., the Fairfield, California brewery has become one of AB InBev’s most efficient breweries, using only 3.15 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of beer. The facility also generates 5.45% of its annual electricity needs from solar panels and has replaced 14% of its natural gas use by capturing methane from brewery wastewater. In addition, the brewery continued to expand its renewable energy systems by installing a 320-foot wind turbine which, when conditions are right, is expected to provide up to 20% of the brewery’s electricity.
  • AB InBev’s Central & Eastern European region has reduced water consumption by 6.4% from 2010 to 2011. The savings were achieved through a comprehensive program that included a “Water Sheriff” initiative to identify and reduce leaking and a “Water Master” program to implement the region’s top three best practices in all facilities.
  • The company’s Wuhan brewery in China has reduced water use by 50% since 2009. In 2011, the brewery joined with local officials and the community to recycle water discharges in ways that benefit the community – including irrigation of public gardens and for fire-fighting – so that water has another use before being returned to the watershed. 
  • In Brazil, the CYAN Movement is a three-year water stewardship effort that involves employees and communities in protecting at-risk watersheds. The multi-faceted project includes a public awareness campaign and the CYAN Bank initiative – a partnership with São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro water utilities – which rewards consumers who conserve more water at home. In its first year, CYAN Bank clients have conserved more than 80 million liters of water and its website averages 35,000 visitors per month. The CYAN Movement has expanded consumer enthusiasm for sustainability efforts and holds lessons for AB InBev’s activities world-wide.
  • In Western Europe, employees distributed 5,000 water-saving devices free of charge to bars and pubs, helping them to reduce the flow of water used in a typical pub's rinsing basin. The simple, inexpensive devices help pubs reduce water use by as much as 50% while also reducing water bills. At the company’s breweries in Belgium, water usage was reduced by 12% compared to 2009, primarily through optimization of brewing, packaging and utilities processes.

AB InBev’s focus on the environment is one of three core pillars of the company’s Better World plan. The company’s global goals also include efforts to promote responsible drinking and support the communities in which it operates.

  • In 2011, AB InBev announced a set of responsible drinking global goals to expand the impact of its programs world-wide by the end of 2012. The company has implemented designated driver / safe-ride home programs and awareness-building campaigns in all of its key markets. In China, AB InBev launched the first-ever national designated driver campaign 'Will You Let Me Be Your Designated Driver?' The program has encouraged more than 13 million people nationwide to take a designated driver pledge and works with local traffic police bureaus and media to raise awareness.
  • In 2011, AB InBev employees in all of its markets around the world participated in community outreach to further the Better World vision, including: celebrating World Safety Day to promote specific techniques and practices that contribute to minimizing the number of work-related injuries; partnering with organizations to help build homes in communities for those in need; and providing canned water to victims and relief workers in the wake of natural disasters.

About Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with an American Depositary Receipt secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD).  It is the leading global brewer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies.  Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and our portfolio of well over 200 beer brands continues to forge strong connections with consumers.  We invest the majority of our brand-building resources on our Focus Brands - those with the greatest growth potential such as global brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, alongside Leffe, Hoegaarden, Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, Quilmes, Michelob Ultra, Harbin, Sedrin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, Hasseröder and Jupiler.  In addition, the company owns a 50 percent equity interest in the operating subsidiary of Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of the global Corona brand.  AB InBev’s dedication to heritage and quality originates from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, with origins in St. Louis, USA since 1852.  Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, AB InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 116,000 employees based in operations in 23 countries worldwide.  In 2011, AB InBev realized 39.0 billion US dollar revenue.  The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.  For more information, please visit: www.ab-inbev.com.

About Better World

Through our commitment to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World, Anheuser-Busch InBev is the beer industry leader in social responsibility initiatives, ranking as the No. 1 brewer in social responsibility in FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired” beverage companies’ list.  Our Better World efforts focus on three pillars: promoting responsible drinking; protecting the environment; and giving back to the communities in which we live and work. Around the world, we develop and implement social responsibility programs and campaigns in partnership with parents, government officials, community organizations, retailers and others.  From promoting responsible drinking messages on some of the world’s most watched television programming, to turning coconut husks into renewable energy to fuel our breweries, to volunteering in the community, Anheuser-Busch InBev and its employees are committed to making a difference.

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