BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Anheuser-Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD) is celebrating World Environment Day (WED), an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), across its global operations. The company’s annual WED celebration, now in its fourth year, is a key rallying point in its commitment to reduce its impact on the environment, a core pillar of its dream to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.
WED initiatives emphasize the efficient use of resources – in particular water, which is essential to AB InBev’s high quality products and the continued, sustainable growth of its business around the world. WED also launches the company’s fourth annual WED facility competition, which encourages employees globally to submit projects that encourage sustainable operations and innovation, as well as education efforts and public-private partnerships. Continuing from last year, the judging panel that will select the competition’s global grand prize winner will include a representative from UNEP.
“Reducing our impact on the environment means never being entirely satisfied with our progress. World Environment Day helps generate great momentum for our internal efforts and our work in communities,” said Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev. “The activities we participate in emphasize our increasingly efficient use of resources, which is essential to the continued, sustainable growth of our business around the world.”
WED is part of AB InBev’s ongoing efforts to engage every employee in building a sustainability-focused culture. This includes the company’s standardized global brewery management system, Voyager Plant Optimization (VPO) – a centralized operating system that incentivizes continuous improvement. VPO promotes efficiency at facilities by setting uniform processes and measurable standards for operations, quality, safety and environmental sustainability.
This year AB InBev is also launching the first Global No Shave Campaign. This internally focused campaign is a light-hearted effort with a serious purpose. Close to 8,000 employees world-wide have already pledged to stop shaving to save water. The effort is aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of water conservation and natural resource protection – showing that everyone can take small steps that make a big difference.
Employees around the world are leading local initiatives to celebrate WED:
- Events in Brazil include two new initiatives as part of the CYAN Movement – an effort launched in 2010 to educate society about the importance of water conservation. The first, “Aqualume,” encourages public debate on environmental issues in the run up to Rio+20. Activities include a visual display on a large outdoor projected screen, concerts, information booths and recreational events aimed at generating involvement. These activities are expected to attract about 5,000 people per day. The second is the “Projeto Bacias” (Watershed Project) in Brasilia – a partnership with WWF since 2010.
- Efforts are underway to launch the “Prainha Viva” campaign to restore and re-open the Prainha Park – a 40-year-old recreational area in an area surrounding a local brewery – which has been closed to the public due to lack of maintenance. Working with NGO partners Ecomarapendi and Eccovida, activities in Rio de Janeiro include toy-making workshops that use PET bottles and school-based education initiatives on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).
- In the Latin America South Zone, WED activities will focus on raising awareness of natural resource and water conservation efforts. This includes an afforestation campaign to create new green spaces to compensate for CO2 emissions in breweries. Employees will be actively working to successfully meet the end-2012 global environmental goals and will also join the Global No Shave Campaign.
- Employees in the U.S. will focus their WED efforts around water conservation and protection, both inside and outside facilities. Along with the national non-profit River Network and local partners, employees will again conduct river clean-ups in all brewery city markets and Oklahoma City. Last year, more than 800 employees and their families volunteered. Activities in St. Louis include a WED expo on tips for conserving water at home and at work, as well as a “Follow the Water Tour” led by the brewery’s Supply experts. The U.S. is also continuing its efforts to build on the third year of the Budweiser “Grow One. Save a Million.” campaign, by engaging distributors, their employees and consumers in a fun and easy way to show the company’s collective environmental commitment to conserve water.
- In Canada, breweries are hosting Environmental Showcases focused on water, energy and material conservation. The brewery teams are inviting local elected officials and community leaders to take part in environmentally oriented tours and discuss recent utilities conservation efforts. WED started out as an event to generate deeper employee understanding and enthusiasm in sustainability. It has since grown into a popular and valuable celebration that broadens awareness among the larger community.
- In Western Europe, employees will focus on contributing to less CO2 emissions by following eco-friendly driving tips and a program to ensure proper inflation of motor vehicle tires. Given AB InBev’s logistical operations, ensuring that tires are properly inflated can save thousands of tons of CO2 emissions per year.
- Again this year, WED activities in Russia will include “Subotnik” – a volunteer mobilization of clean-up efforts in cities across the country. More than 80% of employees take part in these activities along with families, local authorities, NGOs and business partners. In previous years, the activities have resulted in the clean-up of more than 50 tons of garbage from streets, parks, gardens and rivers.
- Employees in Ukraine are working to increase consumers’ awareness around PET bottle recycling by creating sculptures out of plastic bottles.
- In China, employees will engage in a variety of energy-efficiency and water conservation activities, including the Global No Shave Campaign across all of its regions. To maximize impact, new media (such as www.weibo.com) will be fully leveraged to recruit millions of netizens to pledge and take action to “grow one for environmental sustainability.”
In 2011, more than 60,000 employees contributed to AB InBev’s global celebration of WED, resulting in 700 facility and community environmental projects in 21 countries.
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% 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.
For more information about Anheuser-Busch InBev and Better World, please visit: www.ab-inbev.com.