Global Marketing

Anheuser-Busch BETTER WORLD, PR Stunt or Corporate Strategy?

Over the past few decades sustainability has become a key focus for many companies; but the term is board and has different meaning from industry to industry. For many companies sustainability focuses on material and packaging of a product, and factors like education, environment, water, or power are not addressed by these sustainability programs.

Recently Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) launched a program called BETTER WORLD, “Our Dream is to Bring People Together for a Better World. We are building a company to last, brewing beer and building brands that will continue to bring people together for the next 100 years and beyond.” The key component of this strategy is companies view on the environments effects on its product. AB InBEV is reliant on high quality ingredients, which rely heavily on a healthy environment.

To accomplish this task, AB InBev has set rather significant sustainability goals by 2025. For water stewardship, they’ve pledged to have 100% improved water availability and quality. For packaging, they want to have 100% of their products packaging to be returnable or made from recycled content. For the environment and power, they want to purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable sources and reduce 25% their CO2 emission across their value change.[1]

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world largest beer brewing company and has a 30% global market share, with location in every major market. In 2017, AB InBev produced 612.6 million hectoliters of beer worldwide. [2] When putting that into prospective that’s more water than the two largest man-made lakes in the United States combined, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. When such a large company makes sustainability pledges on such a level, the impacts will be immense. Especially when you factor how they need to accomplish these goals in underdeveloped markets that don’t have well developed infrastructure.

Water will be one of the biggest sustainability issues in future with the first major city, Cape Town, South Africa, on the verge of running out of tap water at some point in 2018. In 2015, AB InBev and SAB Miller had a 98% market share which equivalent to approximately 3 billion liters of beer.[3]  Even the most minor water efficiency gains on production could conserve millions of liters of water per year.

AB InBev sustainability programs covers much more than most typical corporate sustainability program. AB InBev seems to be committed to major issue that will be a major problem in their field in the coming decades. AB InBev is focused on the next 100 year of growth, and tackling these issues will allow the company to remain an industry leader.