Heineken Vietnam Among Leaders In Sustainable Practices
Heineken Vietnam was recognized as an excellent example of applying sustainable practices in its operations and having a positive impact on people, the planet, and prosperity, at the 4th Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum (VCSF) on October 10 in Hanoi.
Mr. Leo Evers, Managing Director at Heineken Vietnam. Photo: Heineken Vietnam
The company shared its success story at the forum, on how driving a sustainability agenda has helped its business and the community grow together, with the key being to create an inclusive value chain that includes circular economic ideas, transparency, and integrity in business and sustainability reporting.
Circular economics is best demonstrated via its application of biomass and biogas. Four of the six Heineken’s breweries in Vietnam brewed using 100 percent carbon-neutral biomass energy this year. It therefore cut its CO2 emissions by 50 percent against the 2014-2016 period, providing a steady source of income to the local rice farmers it buys the “waste” rice husks from and significantly lowering its costs while avoiding oil price volatilities.
Biogas, meanwhile, is used by capturing gases released by its waste water treatment plants and reusing it as a fuel source. By 2019, the company aims to brew 100 percent of its beverages using renewable energy.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, said the use of biomass and biogas in the daily operations of Heineken’s breweries is a practical and breakthrough initiative that brings benefits to many stakeholders, including the community.
Heineken Vietnam has committed to using local suppliers wherever possible and has created around 190,000 jobs throughout its supply chain and purchases only local packaging materials. It contributed VND33.5 trillion ($1.54 billion) to Vietnam’s economy in 2016, or 0.75 percent of GDP.
The company is also one of the very few pioneers in Vietnam to adopt sustainability reporting using the global reporting initiative (GRI) standard, with it continuously publishing a GRI-accredited comprehensive annual sustainability report in Vietnam for three years in a row, announcing its achievements and future directions for sustainable development as well as its challenges.
Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD), Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, said the GRI standard sets a distinctive and desirable standard for sustainability reporting and facilitates transparency and integrity thanks to its structured principles ensuring reporting validity and quality.
“Heineken has taken the lead in standardized sustainability reporting practices in Vietnam by proactively applying and adhering to GRI standards, an unprecedented practice made by a non-listed company that we consider desirable and truly appreciate,” Mr. Vinh added.
For its continuous sustainability efforts, Heineken Vietnam was recognized as the third most sustainable company in Vietnam in VCCI’s Corporate Sustainability Index in 2016.
VCCI Chairman Mr. Vu Tien Loc said that Heineken has made significant and long-standing contributions to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development. With its vision and commitment to sustainability and its innovative application of advanced business models and solutions, the company effectively supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Vietnam’s national sustainability agenda.
“With what the company has accomplished and its solid promise to advance the achievements, Heineken Vietnam will continue to play a progressive role in Vietnam’s long-term growth and remain a trusted companion of the country on its journey to a better and sustainable future,” he added.
Established in 1991, Heineken Vietnam Brewery (formerly Vietnam Brewery) is a joint venture between the Saigon Trading Group (Satra) and Heineken. It currently has six breweries in Vietnam: in Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Tien Giang, Vung Tau, and Hanoi.