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Heineken® UK tells how it's taking on big social issues in sustainability storybook

HEINEKEN, the name behind some of the UK’s most loved ciders, beers and pubs, has released its 2017 Sustainability Story, explaining how the company is tackling three big social issues – mental health, social exclusion and alcohol harm.

The storybook takes you on a tour from barley fields to breweries to pubs, on a journey of discovery about what sustainability means to HEINEKEN UK and how it’s central to every part of the business.

On mental health, publicly signing the Time to Change pledge demonstrated its commitment to helping end the stigma of mental health illness in the workplace. Mental health champions were recruited, and mental and physical wellbeing are now front and centre of HEINEKEN’s colleague agenda.

The company’s flagship beer, Heineken®, spurred global debate with the Open Your World campaign which brought a message of unity to over three billion people.

And working with the UK’s leading behaviour change charity, Addaction, for over 12 years – the company continues to support war veterans to overcome addiction and mental health issues.

Other highlights include:

Sustainable Sourcing

Herefordshire is the global home of cider, and as such, HEINEKEN UK uses over a third of the UK’s crop of apples in its ciders which include Bulmers, Strongbow and Old Mout. This year, 79% of these cider apples were sourced from sustainable farms. HEINEKEN continues to work with barley farmers to reduce CO2 and pesticides, and boost biodiversity.

Health, safety and wellbeing

With Heineken® 0.0, the company sponsored ‘HEINEKEN Race To The Tower’ – an ultra-marathon challenge in the Cotsworlds to support the message that social and physical wellbeing can have a positive impact on mental health. Over 200 colleagues joined 800 public participants, raising money and awareness for mental health charity, Mind.

Protecting water resources

Water use was reduced by 21% since 2008 across all UK brewing and cider making sites (Hereford, Tadcaster, Manchester and Edinburgh.)

HEINEKEN is no stranger to innovation, and Smart Dispense, the breakthrough pub cellar dispense technology, which allows licensees to reduce their water usage, is now installed in 2,500 British pubs and has saved 35 million pints of water.

Reducing C02 emissions

Since 2008, C02 has consistently reduced, and with constant efforts to improve energy efficiencies, C02 emissions are now 32% less than they were in 2015, across HEINEKEN’s UK sites.


Through HEINEKEN’s Star Pubs and Bars company, over £100m was invested into revitalising pubs across the country which created nearly 800 jobs.

With pubs at the hearts of communities, HEINEKEN demonstrated the important role they play in a Christmas campaign called Brewing Good Cheer. The national campaign not only celebrated pubs’ roles, but also hosted Christmas lunches for over 200 socially isolated people.

As the UK’s largest cider maker, HEINEKEN knows the impact orchards can have on communities. In 2014 Helping Britain Blossom was launched, a community orchard scheme to create or restore orchards in urban areas. In 2016, 150 orchards were planted and over 2,000 people volunteered in the scheme.

Promoting Responsible Drinking

In 2016, Heineken® became an official partner of Formula 1® allowing for a global anti drink drive campaign. Starring the legend, Jackie Stewart, the campaign called ‘When You Drink, Never Drive,’ harnessed the popularity of F1 to reach millions of people.

David Paterson, HEINEKEN’s corporate affairs director said: “Companies have a big role to play in being a positive force for change. For us, this is what being a sustainable company is all about. We’re continuing to step up our efforts and looking at how we can use the influence of our entire business – our brands, people, pubs and partners to move the dial on some important issues.

“I’m particularly proud of our commitment to colleague wellbeing – putting mental wellbeing on a par with physical wellbeing. We’ve signed the Time to Change pledge and our focus has been making sure every single one of the 2,000 people who work for us know that if they’re struggling with a mental health issue, they have our full support.

“And another recent high point - Heineken’s® Open Your World campaign, which sparked global conversation and captured the imagination of hundreds of millions of people. Creating the opportunity for people with opposing views to come together and discuss their differences over a beer was a powerful message of unity at a time when tolerance is under threat.

“Our Sustainability Story brings all this to life for people, so we hope you enjoy!”

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