Overview from our CEO
In October 2016, we completed our combination with SABMiller, making us the first truly global brewer and one of the world’s leading consumer products companies. Having now met many of our new colleagues, we are excited to work together and are enthusiastic about the skills, passion, commitment and drive of our combined global talent base.
We are particularly excited about how the combination will help us further our Dream of bringing people together for a better world. In October, we introduced our updated Better World strategy, combining the best of both companies and aligning our environmental, social and alcohol responsibility efforts around three core pillars:
- A growing world, where everyone has the opportunity to improve their livelihood;
- A cleaner world, where natural resources are shared and preserved for the future; and
- A healthier world, where every experience with beer is a positive one, for lives well lived.
In 2016, we made progress on our Better World strategy, having now achieved all but one of our 2017 Environmental Goals and advancing our Global Smart Drinking Goals, the latter were launched in 2015.
Reflecting our continued ambition to integrate sustainability into our business strategy, we recently expanded the role of Tony Milikin, who is now our Chief Procurement & Sustainability Officer and will help drive our agenda forward.
However, we know that we have to, and can, do more. In 2015, the United Nations launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Expectations of business are high and we welcome the challenge to step up and collaborate in addressing these global challenges. Our Better World strategy aligns with the SDGs, which present opportunities to both strengthen our business as well as to contribute to society. Throughout this report, we will demonstrate how we are advancing towards achieving the SDGs, but also where we face challenges and need to work in partnership with others to find and to implement solutions.
Our ambition for a growing world gives everyone the opportunity to improve their livelihoods. Some of the initiatives from this past year include the 4e Path to Progress small retailer development program, which has helped over 20,000 shopkeepers in Latin America develop the skills they need to improve their business sustainability and quality of life, and our SmartBarley program, which has worked with over 4,500 growers with the goal of cultivating the highest quality barley with the best yields and lowest cost.
Additionally, agriculture is a critical source of income and livelihood in a number of markets across Africa. We’re working to make beer an affordable alternative to dangerous illicit alcohol by brewing beer from local crops grown by smallholder farmers.
Our ambition is for a cleaner world, where natural resources are shared and preserved for the future. This year, we continued Stella Artois’ Buy a Lady a Drink program with Water.org, which aims to tackle the global water crisis. Having to date supported nearly 800,000 people, we recently announced our ambition to provide access to safe water to 3.5 million people in the developing world by 2020.
We are also excited about our commitment to securing 100% of our purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025, reducing our operational carbon footprint by 30%. This will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition toward a low-carbon economy.
Our ambition is for a healthier world, where every experience with beer is a positive one. This year, we continued to make progress on our Global Smart Drinking Goals, empowering consumers to make smart drinking choices and change behaviors by shifting social norms. One of our goals is to have No- and Lower-Alcohol beer products represent 20% of our global beer volumes by 2025. In 2016, we launched no-alcohol varieties of several brands, including two 0.0% ABV global brands: Budweiser Prohibition in Canada and Corona Cero in Mexico.
As part of our Healthier World focus, we have committed 150 million USD over a 10 year time period and created an AB InBev Foundation to invest in research to identify and share the most effective ways alcohol beverage producers can reduce alcohol misuse and its associated harms. The Foundation also will provide science-based guidance for the delivery and measurement of our Global Smart Drinking Goals. The creation of this Foundation demonstrates our commitment to tackling harmful drinking in a sustained, measurable and evidence-based way.
As we expand globally, we encounter both opportunities and challenges. We are committed to maintaining the highest compliance standards and to growing our business the right way. We have built a strong global compliance team and integrated compliance targets into key aspects of our business. A global whistle-blower line ensures our colleagues can anonymously voice concerns in a protected environment.
Together with our new colleagues, our ambition remains to build a company to last. As we do this, we look forward to extending our reach and resources to help ensure that day-by-day we are helping create a Better World for everyone. We invite you to explore our progress and read more about where we are going.
Chief Executive Officer