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Mitigating the climate crisis through the power of partnership

9th September 2022 Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, AB InBev and Fernando Tennenbaum, Chief Financial Officer, AB InBev 3 min read

Climate change is no longer just a future threat. As the world confronts this environmental reality, there’s an urgent need for businesses to commit to sustainable change and lean into partnerships to accelerate action. A next-generation business relies on healthy environments, thriving communities and resilient supply chains.  

We believe in the power of collaboration to drive change and the private sector has a key role to play.

Internal Partnerships: An essential commitment

Our sustainability and finance teams work closely together to advance AB InBev’s ESG strategy. While some believe that ESG-related initiatives are at odds with revenue growth and profitability, we view them as one of the biggest economic opportunities of our time. Beer is inherently inclusive, natural and local. This means we work with our partners across the value chain to produce, distribute and sell our beers, while making a positive impact in our environments and communities.

As Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Financial Officer we share ESG targets that are tied to our overall compensation, and we are continuously looking for ways in which we can incorporate sustainability metrics into our resource allocation decisions.  

The results of our efforts are driving our ESG goals and enabling our commercial vision. We announced in 2021 a 10.1 billion USD sustainability-linked loan revolving credit facility (SLL RCF), which incorporates a pricing mechanism that incentivizes improvement across carbon emissions, water stewardship and circular packaging. We were also recognized in 2021 as one of only 37 Global Compact LEAD companies for our ongoing commitment to the UN Global Compact', its Ten Principles for responsible business and the related Sustainable Development Goals. As a founding member of the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce for Sustainable Development Goals, we work with peers to play a role in increasing awareness and attracting more investments in sustainable development.

External Partnerships: Innovating to build the future, together

A collaborative mindset allows us to design policies and invest in innovation that can deliver global and scalable solutions that are needed to address short term goals while advancing long-term impact.

We have taken important actions to catalyze innovation in areas that contribute to our 2025 Sustainability Goals. Through the 100+ Accelerator, we are working alongside entrepreneurs, innovators, partner companies, engineers and scientists to develop breakthrough solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges in smart agriculture, circular packaging, climate action, water stewardship and more.

Our value chain is also a critical enabler of sustainable innovation. Through Eclipse, a collaboration platform that supports suppliers and partners, we are providing the tools needed to measure and track decarbonization across our partner supply chains while also sharing targets and best practices. In Brazil, as part of the Budweiser Energy Collective Program, we are connecting small retailers to producers of renewable energy to help provide a more cost-effective electricity solution to our retailers while decarbonizing our value chain.

Delivering Value Creation

Creating a future where all communities can thrive requires C-suite leaders to think long-term and put sustainability at the forefront of their value chain and at the core of their products and processes. More than good business, this will ultimately help deliver superior value creation for all stakeholders and create shared prosperity for our communities.

So, our message to fellow sustainability and finance leaders: we must engage our colleagues across business functions, across industries and across geographies to look at the issues that are material to our businesses and decide how, together, we can build a more sustainable and inclusive future. Then, we need to take our learnings and share them with the world to identify scalable solutions. Only by collaborating today can we catalyze progress to create a future with more cheers.