Growth firmly grounded on sustainability
The year 2022 marked an important milestone for HEINEKEN Vietnam, with the opening of its Vung Tau Brewery, which is the largest one of its brewery in Asia Pacific, and the largest of all breweries in Southeast Asia with a total capacity of 11 million hectolitres per year.
A state-of-the-art brewery itself, Vung Tau Brewery has automated its operations to a large extent. The brewery also owns some of the fastest canning lines of all its breweries in the world, filling up to 130,000 cans per hour.
Vung Tau Brewery has been built with a clear vision for sustainability, with 27 per cent of the total area of 40 hectares planned for gardens and green spaces. Since acquisition in 2017, the brewery has cut down on energy consumption by almost a half (48 per cent) on a per-hectolitre basis; and currently, 97 per cent of the demand for thermal energy comes from a biomass plant just nearby.
The brewery has also achieved its goal of sending zero waste to landfill by the end of 2021. To date, across all six of HEINEKEN Vietnam breweries, beers are being brewed with 52 per cent renewable energy, and 100 per cent of waste and by-products are being reused, recycled or upcycled into higher value products.
Steady progress to water balance
Protecting water is one among the top priorities in the company's sustainability strategy, since beers are made from around 95 per cent water. In the entire beer brewing process, the company constantly seeks ways to improve water efficiency and circularity – for example, wastewater at the breweries is currently being treated to grade A standard before being returned to the environment or reclaimed for different cleaning purposes.
Beyond water in its products and in the brewing process, the brewer has also been active in preserving water in communities and in the environment. Over the last decade, the company has supported 25 water stations to provide communities across the country with access to clean water and knowledge to protect this natural resource.
In 2022, HEINEKEN Vietnam continued to make steady advancement towards the goal of being 100 percent water balanced by 2025, whereby the company will return to the environment the amount of water that goes into its beers.
With a total investment of VND30 billion ($1.26 million) over four years, the brewer is teaming up with WWF-Vietnam to roll out a water conservation initiative in the basins of Red, Dong Nai and Tien River. The initiative aims to replenish a total of 3 billion liters of water every year for river basins feeding into 3 of HEINEKEN Vietnam breweries, through a range of activities – including tree planting and forest enrichment, as well as water management and habit changing programmes.
Commitment to responsible consumption
A brewer committed to responsible consumption, HEINEKEN Vietnam has been actively advocating positive change towards drink-driving behavior. During the festive season last year, the company partnered with the National Traffic Safety Committee to re-activate its "When You Drive, Never Drink" campaign.
The programme went beyond creating awareness, to equip people with the knowledge and some practical tips for road safety. For the Lunar New Year, the company also launched an "Enjoy Responsibly" guideline with tips for drinking in moderation – as part of a new, modern lifestyle.
Reaching out to needy communities
Also in 2022, the company launched its ‘HEINEKEN Cares’ initiative to promote the company's unique spirit of True Togetherness. For the 2023 Lunar New Year, the company committed almost 320,000 USD to “Joining hands, towards a happy & healthy Tet.” The programme was participated in by around HEINEKEN Vietnam 1,000 employees throughout the country, delivering nearly 7,700 gifts to the needy in 26 different provinces.
Within this programme, the brewer also collaborated with Vietnam Red Cross Society to organise "0 Dong Tet” fair events, offering shopping vouchers for Lunar New Year’s essential items, as well as free health check-ups, free haircuts, house cleaning, and lucky money to wish people a healthy and happy new year.
HEINEKEN Vietnam closed the year on high with multiple awards and recognitions for its sustainability efforts. Most notably, it was named in the top three most sustainable businesses in Vietnam by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the seventh year in a row.
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