International Breweries Plc (IB Plc.) a proud part of the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, today released its first Sustainability Report which discloses the giant beverage maker’s impact and stewardship on the economy, society and the environment.
Themed “Driving Sustainability for a Better World,” the report is a reflection of the transformational journey of the organisation, highlighting its commitments, progress, challenges and opportunities in 2019. It also communicates International Breweries’ impact -positive/negative- and ultimately, contributions to building a sustainable society.
Speaking on the publication of the report, Hugo Rocha, Managing Director, International Breweries Plc. said the initiative showcases the company’s commitment to running the business responsibly, focusing on the triple-bottom line approach. “More than just profit, we are dedicated to entrenching sustainability in our operations and ensuring that our activities positively impact our stakeholders. Our success is hinged on our commitment to our core vision of Bringing People Together for a Better World, our agile business model, core values in our 10 Principles, leadership, and strong corporate governance” he said.
Continuing, Rocha said, “We are proud of our work and commitment to our Global AB InBev 2025 Sustainability goals in Water Stewardship, Climate Action, Circular Packaging, Smart Agriculture and Smart Drinking. These form the bedrock of our sustainability programmes across our value chain as we aim to continue to contribute significantly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). With our sustainability report, we are able to offer voluntary disclosures to our stakeholders on our Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. We also pledge, as a responsible business to continue to contribute to improving our planet, our people and the prosperity of all”.
The report has been prepared following the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards – one of the most widely used and acceptable sustainability reporting frameworks in the global business community. Its disclosures are also guided by the requirements of other frameworks on sustainability such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines. The reporting scope primarily covers brewing activities across the company’s four plants in Anambra, Ogun, Osun and Rivers states, including its head office in Lagos State and other states of the federation where the company extends its impact.
Speaking during the launch of the report in Lagos, Board member and Chairman of IBPLC’s Board Committee on Sustainability and Risk Management, Mr Olugbenga Awomolo whilst commending the team at the launch, stated that “today is a special day for us; it takes a lot of effort to articulate all these impact reports considering the global socio-economic issues faced the preceding year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This report is a testament of our journey as a business in recent times and a consolidation of our socio-economic footprint across our entire operation”. Awolomo added that “as a member of the Board and on behalf of my fellow board members, we remain committed to entrenching sustainability across our business operations. We will proactively continue to drive compliance in meeting local and global regulatory requirements as we continue to grow the business to the benefit of our stakeholders”
In its commitment to its 2025 sustainability goals, the organisation in 2019 embarked on smart drinking initiatives impacting up to 20,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, provided potable water for host communities in Osun, Ogun and Rivers states, achieved a 7.5% increase in recycling efforts and installed a 150kWP Grid Tied Power System to support operations in its flagship brewery in Ogun state, thereby making it the first fully solar powered plant in Nigeria.
Furthermore, in a bid to foster mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders, the business through engagements, was able to identify material issues that were of interest to its stakeholders: consumers, communities, distributors, employees, shareholders, government and partners. The insightful engagement sessions shone light on key priority areas for the identified stakeholders and the organisation; all these and many more are will be fed into the improvement areas for the company to improve its sustainable development practices.
In her speech, Temitope Oguntokun, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, stated that the report is aptly titled “Driving Sustainability for a Better World”, because it is when businesses look within and outside their fences and across their value chains that they can truly create a better world. According to Oguntokun, “Our impact on the society is centred not just around our 2025 sustainability goals but our social investment pillars of Health, Empowerment, Education and Infrastructural Support. In pursuit of this agenda, we inaugurated the International Breweries Foundation (IBF) with the main aim of having a structured platform for executing our projects and credible stakeholders to support us through the process of delivering our commitments to our country.”
Oguntokun further added that in line with Goal 17 of the UNSDG’s, the company is happy with its partnerships with its peers in the industry which has helped it to have a wider-reaching impact in the country. “Our partnerships under the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Education on the SMASHED programme has helped us to reach over 14,000 students in 60 schools across Nigeria with our anti-underage drinking campaign. In the same breath, our alliance with the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA)FBRA has seen us contribute significantly to the industry achievement of recycling 669,068kg of plastics waste in 2019 versus 14,900kg in 2018.”
As part of its social investment efforts, International Breweries has invested over N325 million in empowering 274 entrepreneurs across Nigeria since 2016 thereby bridging the unemployment gap through its Kickstart Entrepreneurship Programme; completed an irrigation project for farmers of Omi-Asoro community, impacting 7 farmers in Ilesha, Osun State. The company also built, furnished and equipped a state-of-the-art primary healthcare facility in Oginigba, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State in a response to the medical needs of the community and as a demonstration of its commitment to supporting government and communities in healthcare and infrastructure delivery.