Committed to “Prosper”

Author Susan Graff, VP

Author: Susan Graff, VP

I predict SAB Miller, best loved for their beer, will now be loved for their leadership in the circular economy.  In their recently published 2014 sustainability report, SAB announced their new Prosper strategy, and it is an excellent example of how vision, focus, engagement and collaboration achieve results. There are two things worth noting.  First, they’ve completely aligned sustainability risks with their business strategy, paring ten established sustainable development priorities down to five shared imperatives that are most material for their business.   Second, this integrated business strategy is returning value that makes for impactful reporting. Key performance indicators link environmental performance to production and revenues. Last year SAB generated $24,254 million of economic value through their business activities, most of which was distributed to employees, shareholders, governments and local communities.

One of their five business imperatives is creating value through reducing waste and carbon emissions.  99% of spent grains from their breweries is sold and reused for agricultural nutrients or to make animal feed, making a positive impact on the business rather than a landfill expense.  Part of their  ambitious Prosper vision is to halve CO2 emissions per hectolitre of beer brewed by 2020 against their 2008 baseline.  To date, they have inventoried the emissions and reductions of their 50 key suppliers, and another 100 key packaging suppliers have been invited to join in this imperative in 2014.

How did they do this? I think their holistic, systems approach that incorporates regular sustainability assessments and feedback on comparison against benchmarks helps them stay on track, focusing on management of key sustainability risks and adoption of best practices.  Well done – now time for a toast!

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