This week, AB InBev joins governments, policymakers, academics, NGOs, and business leaders at the 78th UN General Assembly, in New York City. This year’s session marks the mid-point for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provides a crucial opportunity for accelerated progress toward the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
Private sector engagement is essential to achieving the SDGs and companies have a crucial role to play. As the world’s leading brewer, AB InBev is uniquely positioned to drive sustainable impact in support of the SDGs. Beer is inherently local and is often a major part of local communities and economies, making ours a distinctly local business – reliant on simple ingredients, thriving communities and a resilient supply chain. Globally, our industry is an engine of economic growth: supporting $555 billion in GDP, 23 million jobs and generating $262 billion in tax revenues for governments.1
In alignment with SDG 17, AB InBev engages in numerous cross-sector partnerships to scale sustainable solutions. Together we’re taking bold actions to help contribute to many of the SDGs.
Smart Drinking and Moderation
For example, our evidence-based Smart Drinking initiatives contribute to SDG 3, which focuses on well-being. Our efforts to promote moderation and responsible consumption range from leading the industry with the world’s largest, voluntary beer guidance labeling initiative, to branded social norms marketing campaigns that promote moderation by shifting consumers’ perceptions and behaviors.
This year, AB InBev and the AB InBev Foundation introduced a groundbreaking digital approach to Screening and Brief Interventions (SBI), called eSBI, an innovative way for medical professionals to talk with patients about the way they think about alcohol consumption. The technology is scalable, easy to access and eliminates healthcare provider time restrictions. eSBI is gaining traction in Brazil and is expected to soon launch in Colombia, Mexico and South Africa.
Safer roads, save lives
Traffic injuries and crashes are a leading cause of fatalities and disability worldwide. To support SDG 3, AB InBev, along with partners like Together for Safer Roads (TSR), is working to promote safer roads in our communities by developing solutions that aim to tackle risk factors, such as distracted driving, drinking and driving, as well as improving vehicle design and road infrastructure. Grupo Modelo, our local brewer in Mexico, is participating in TSR’s ‘Truck of the Future’ program, which equips the fleets of cities and companies with advanced camera technology and pedestrian alert systems to help eliminate driver blind spots.
Grupo Modelo’s ‘Truck of the Future’
One of our longest running and most successful local road safety initiatives are the alcohol evidence centers (AECs) led by municipalities, law enforcement and our brewer, South African Breweries. For more than a decade the centers have helped make South Africa’s roads safer by enabling law enforcement to test suspected drunk drivers and confirm their breath limit. Today there are 10 brick and mortar AECs and ten mobile units throughout the country.
Boosting water security
Water is more than just a key ingredient in our products. It is a critical resource for people around the world, as highlighted in SDG 6, which aims to improve access to and management of water.
AB InBev is focused on being part of the solution to address the water challenges where we live and across our supply chain by working to improve water efficiency in our operations and water access in our communities, and collaborating with partners, like The Nature Conservancy, to implement scalable solutions to boost shared water security and watershed health.
Empowerment throughout the value chain
In 2018, AB InBev set a goal to have 100% of our direct farmers be skilled, connected and financially empowered by 2025, an effort that contributes to SDGs 8 and 10, promoting decent work and economic growth, and reducing inequalities respectively.
Supported by a global team of expert agronomists, researchers and partners, including BanQu, AB InBev’s farmer development programs provide training, digital tools and access to financing needed to grow their businesses, and opportunities to learn regenerative agriculture practices that can improve soil health and biodiversity.
Farmers are part of the AB InBev value chain, which spans our brewing operations, and distribution network, our retailers, all the way to the consumers who enjoy our products. We are working towards SDG 13 by striving to decarbonize our value chain. To achieve our 2025 climate action goals and our ambition to achieve net zero across our value chain by 2040, we work with partners across the wider industry. For example, our 100+ Accelerator program enables entrepreneurs by allowing them to pilot their innovation within global corporate value chains and scale their solutions to solve challenges faster.
We’re further contributing to the SDGs through our initiatives aimed at improving the livelihoods of retailers who sell our products. BEES, our proprietary business-to-business digital commerce platform, offers small and medium sized retailers an easy-to-use mobile app that enables them to browse for products, place orders, earn rewards, arrange deliveries, manage invoices, and access business insights, all in one place. Through the BEES platform and ecosystem, businesses can access tools and insights and financial services to grow their businesses. Additionally, in many markets we offer store owners business development opportunities through programs such as Empresarias Modelo in Mexico, and in partnership with organizations such as Bora in Brazil and Pro Mujer in Bolivia.
We are proud to be collaborating with partners across our value chain to contribute to the UN SDGs to create a lasting, positive impact in our communities for a future with more cheers.
For more on how AB InBev is working to advance the UN SDGs to create a future with more cheers, see our 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance Report