- AB InBev said that by 2025 it will secure 100% of its purchased electricity for its brewing operations from completely renewable sources, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
- The brewery said the move will decrease its operational carbon footprint by 30%.
- Roughly 75% to 85% of its electricity will come from direct power purchasing agreements, while the remaining total will be sources from on-site technologies such as solar panels.
AB InBev is already seen as an innovative leader, and the latest announcement about its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint is most likely not a surprise to those who have followed the company.
The company describes its sustainability strategy as being embedded throughout its business and across its supply chain. “Enabling growth that benefits us and local communities and creating opportunities for all,” AB InBev says on its website. “When our business grows, communities grow. And when communities grow, so does our business”
Studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from sustainably-minded companies. Nielsen conducted an online study about this and revealed that 75% of millennials care about such efforts. As corporate giants look to foster trust and credibility of their brands with shoppers who buy them, sustainability has been seen as a way to do this. Wal-Mart, Unilever, PepsiCo and other companies have pledged to depend more on agricultural suppliers who help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using water more efficiently.
Interestingly, AB InBev released its plan in the same week the Trump administration scrapped Obama’s clean power policies, giving it plenty of attention because of its sustainability promise on such a bleak day for environmentalists.
Still, helping the environment can sometimes backfire. General Mills' effort to help bees by distributing 1.5 billion free seed packets includes some plants that are banned in some states and classified as "noxious weeds" in others. Despite this risk, expect more companies like AB InBev to broaden their sustainability efforts to enhance their connection with shoppers and try to distance themselves from their competitors.