Recent events have brought to light the sadness, pain and frustration felt by many because of long-standing racial inequality and social injustice. During this time, and always, we stand with our colleagues and our communities, especially our Black colleagues, customers and consumers. We oppose racism and discrimination of any form, and driving diversity and inclusion is a global priority for us. At AB InBev, we are committed to our purpose of bringing people together for a better world – regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender or any other difference.
We have a foundation of work that we can build on -but we recognize that we can and must do more. As our CEO Carlos Brito shared earlier this month, “While no one has all the answers to combat racism and inequality, what we do have at AB InBev is the ability to use our platform and influence to inspire change.”
We know it takes hard work and time, and we are committed to accelerating our progress, listening and learning to our people, partners and communities. We are committed to continuing to take action in our business, in our value chain and in the communities in which we live and work. We also know that nobody can do this alone – we all have to be part of the solution, working together for a more equal and just world. A better world.
Some of our initiatives to date are:
With our People, in the U.S. we have recruitment partnerships with Management Leaders of Tomorrow, the National Black MBA Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, and Verizon adfellows to increase diversity in our talent pipeline. Building on this, we recently created a new committee in our Brazil business with local leadership and external Black professionals to define and implement a series of initiatives to promote diversity.
Through our brands, we strive to represent our consumer base and reflect the diverse nature of the populations in the markets where we operate. We also recognize the powerful role brands can play in influencing cultural and social norms. In the U.S. our brands Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois are donating US$550K to the National Urban League, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and other non-profit organizations, and our Brewers Collective Craft Partners are participating in the Black is Beautiful initiative, brewing new stout beers and donating the proceeds to local organizations promoting equality and inclusion.
With our business partners in the value chain, we are working to determine how we can leverage our purchasing power to enable and strengthen more Black and other minority-owned small businesses in the U.S. Additionally, we are learning from existing programs such as the South African Breweries Zenzele Kabili, a broad-based black empowerment program that works to economically empower Black-owned retailers in South Africa.
In our communities, in the U.S. we have a long standing relationship with the UNCF, an organization dedicated to developing a pipeline of under-represented students who become highly qualified college graduates. We have also donated more than US$1 million to the National Urban League through our partnership stemming from the 1980s. We recognize this funding can play a valuable role in supporting local communities and tackling racism, and in recent weeks we have committed a further US$1 million to the National Urban League, the NAACP Education and Legal Defense Fund and others playing a leading role in the pursuit of social justice and equality.
We know there is more work to be done, in the U.S. and around the world. There are more conversations to be had and more listening to do in order to ensure the actions we take are meaningful. We will continue to look for ways to use our platform to drive change, and we remain committed to playing our part in building a better – and equal – world.