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Our Focus Areas

Our Focus Areas

We focus on six areas where we and our stakeholders believe we can make the biggest difference.

Our six focus areas are:

  • Growing with our Communities
  • Protecting Water Resources
  • Reducing CO₂ Emissions
  • Sourcing Sustainably
  • Advocating Responsible Consumption
  • Promoting Health and Safety



Our business brings us into close contact with thousands of consumers and stakeholders daily. Where we have the opportunity to help communities prosper, we do so. Its good business and it can support us in the long-term.

Our focus is on seeking long-term community investments through partnerships that are aligned with our business and sustainability agenda. We actively support communities in the field of alcohol misuse, education, employment, social welfare and the arts.

Significant contributions are also made to local tourism through profile building, support to local public houses, festival and sports sponsorships, many of which are conducted in local communities throughout Ireland.

HEINEKEN Ireland have long held the view that things are better when people connect and as our product is a direct bi-product of nature it made sense for us to combine and build on these two great passions. So in 2017 HEINEKEN Ireland formed a collaboration with GIY to bring communities together to create urban growing spaces that have a positive impact – socially, environmentally and economically. Entitled “Growing with Our Communities”, the initiative is “rooted” internally with HEINEKEN Ireland employees and has helped communities throughout Ireland connect with each other and also the land and nature around them.

The initiative began internally where #StarGrowers were identified as part of National Workplace Wellbeing Day, then the real work started when ten Community Groups around the country were given access to their own GIY@Work programme and “seed” funding. Plus the hands on support of 50 HEINEKEN Ireland volunteers helping across three of these communities that were selected as “Star Gardens” – Blackpool Plaza in Cork, St Michael’s Community Centre Inchicore and New Street Garden Waterford.

In 2018 the project grew too involved Walk in Dublin and Field of Dreams in Cork, not only with the financial and human manpower to create functional growing spaces but also in an innovative Skills Sharing workshop where expertise from across the business where brought together to share their knowledge and experience in an impactful way. In total, the Growing with our Communities pillar at HEINEKEN Ireland has helped over 50 local community and charity groups and contributed €480,000, in 2018 alone.

The Field of Dreams is an inspirational training environment, with an emphasis on learning through meaningful & productive tasks in a social and holistic setting. Their site at Curaheen is a model of social farming, where all the benefits of working in nature (physical, mental, emotional, social) are experienced by those learning, working and volunteering here. One of the ultimate objectives for their trainees is providing Down Syndrome adults with life skills to shape their own futures. The team here at HEINEKEN Ireland were so proud to support this amazing organisation this year by visiting them on site with our expert growing partners GIY last Friday. We tackled a big job with lots of hands to give them a kick start they much deserve for this large bed area.

We are looking forward to building on the programme in 2019 with a focus on Bio-Diversity and revisiting those projects we have helped to develop.  


Protecting Water Resources

We use water throughout our Supply Chain – from sustaining crops to making beer in our brewery: beer is after all 95% water. We continue to maintain our leadership position as one of the most water efficient breweries in HEINEKEN worldwide. We are in the top 20% of HEINEKEN breweries for water efficiency.

Our dedicated environmental champions continue to drive water savings throughout the brewery. We will continue to use water wisely to protect our water resources and reduce our environmental impacts.


Reducing CO2 emissions

In 2018 we signed a Low Carbon Pledge, alongside 46 other Irish companies, you can read the full report here.

CO2 emissions directly contribute to climate change and cause temperatures and sea levels to rise. This in turn has an impact on the availability and cost of raw materials and other resources.

We’ve set ambitious targets to cut the amount of energy we use in brewing, cooling, and distribution. We’re also working with our suppliers to reduce emissions in the design and production of our packaging, and you’ll find a recycle message on all our secondary packaging.

Reducing CO2 Emissions in Production

For many years, we’ve been focusing on how we can cut the amount of energy we use in our brewing process. We use 100% renewable electricity and have had a 55% reduction in CO₂ emissions per hl from production since 2008. We continue to invest in our brewery to make it as energy and water efficient as it can be.

Reduce CO2 Emissions in Cooling

100% of our fridges are ‘green’. All HEINEKEN Ireland ‘green fridges’ have three characteristics: use a hydrocarbon refrigerant, are LED illuminated and have an energy management system. This results in an almost 45% increase in energy efficiency.

Optimising our Distribution

We have achieved a reduction of 20% of our CO2 emissions in distribution. This was achieved three years ahead of our global target and was done through working on our distribution activities and improving our route to market. We continue to work on optimising our distribution.


Sourcing Sustainably

We must develop a sustainable supply chain that shares value with local communities, protects the environment and provides a consistent supply of raw materials for our business. We aim to operate in a way that improves the quality of life for local individuals and communities, helps the environment and ensures a consistent supply of our raw materials.

At HEINEKEN Ireland, a strategic focus remains to support local farmers and suppliers, which in turn generates employment and has a positive economic impact. We source 100% of our malted barley from Irish farmers.

100% of our suppliers have signed and were compliant with the principles expressed in our Supplier Code.


Advocating Responsible Consumption

We want to make moderate and responsible consumption aspirational. We use the strength of our brands – and particularly our Heineken® brand – to help this message resonate with consumers, creating campaigns that can lead the debate. In 2017, we spent 11% of our Heineken® media budget on responsible consumption with our “When you Drive, Never Drink” campaign. We continue to use our Enjoy Heineken® Responsibly platform. This includes a dedicated website, advertising at all major sponsorship events. Enjoy Heineken® Responsibly is also displayed on all commercial communication and packaging. At HEINEKEN Ireland, all employees adhere to our Cool@Work policy, our workplace alcohol information and prevention programme. We also advocate for increased consumer transparency and in 2017, we included ingredient and nutritional labelling on all of our packaged beer products. This information is available online for all our draught beer products

Building partnerships to address alcohol related harm

As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to recognise the problem of alcohol misuse. We work closely with industry groups, government, nongovernmental organisations and third parties. We are members of Drinkaware, an independent social aspects organisation whose vision is an Ireland where alcohol is not misused. We are compliant with all marketing codes of practice and all of our consumer facing employees receive training.

Working in partnership with the Cork Simon Community

HEINEKEN Ireland has been involved with the Cork Simon Community for the past 18 years through fundraising and volunteering. For the past six years, we’ve supported Cork Simon and the Addiction Aftercare Programme. The partnership aims to increase the number of people accessing treatment and prevent them from returning to homelessness. A dedicated support worker and aftercare housing service help people consolidate their recovery.


Promoting Health and Safety

We are continuing to strive for a zero accident environment. Our colleagues are key to all that we do, and health and safety has always been an integral part of HEINEKEN business.

Put Safety First! Is our number one company behaviour. As we strive for a zero accident environment, we continue to invest in training programmes designed to promote an increased awareness of behavioural safety. We continue to re-design some of our production processes on an on-going basis, as we eventually improve and work towards being best in class. Keeping our employees healthy and safe remains our top priority.