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“Sustainability is not a business issue for us, it is our responsibility”

Interview with Sagrario Sáez Mejía, Sustainability Director Heineken Spain

  • What does your company do?

The production, marketing and sale of beers and ciders.

  • How important is sustainability to your company?

At HEINEKEN Spain, sustainability is at the heart of our purpose: to create moments of enjoyment that bring us together to provide a better world. It is one of the 5 pillars of our business strategy, and is an indicator of success and a permanent criterion in our decision making.

Sustainability is not a business issue for us. We firmly believe it is our responsibility. It is an area in which we started working almost two decades ago and in which we have invested +30M € in the last two years (2022-23).

Therefore, at HEINEKEN Spain we integrate sustainability transversally into our business model through the ‘Delivering a Better World’ strategy, with a comprehensive approach, and a roadmap that focuses on three key pillars and nine areas of action:

Environmental: 1/ Zero net emissions; 2/ Circularity; 3/ Protect water sources.

Social: 1/ Diversity; 2/ Fair and safe; 3/ Impact on communities.

Responsibility: 1/ Availability 0.0; 2/ Responsible consumption; 3/ Moderation.

We have set ambitious targets for 2025, accelerating our sustainability agenda to achieve them 5 years ahead of the global group, such as being net zero emissions in production, or reducing 30% of emissions across the value chain, from farm to fork.

  • What is your role in the LIFE Innocereal EU project?

Heineken Spain collaborates in the Innocereal project as an associated participant.

Specifically as a collaborator in malt trials for transformation into certified beer.

  • What will it mean for your company to collaborate with other entities to create a certification system for low-carbon cereals at a European level?

Thanks to our alliances with suppliers, distributors, customers and other public and private entities, from the field to the consumer, we can boost our action against the challenge of climate change in our country and achieve a positive impact on the environment, reaching many of the objectives of our ‘Decidedly Green’ roadmap.

  • Finally, what benefits can this project bring to companies in the cereal sector?

It can bring greater knowledge of the results of the use of innovations and new technologies, and this greater knowledge will generate greater confidence in their use by cereal companies.

In addition, environmental quality labelling will provide more added value to the final product (be it bread, pasta and/or beer).

Finally, it will give them a positive impact as a committed sector.