Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to TriplePundit’s recent Twitter chat with Anheuser-Busch InBev. In case you missed it, you can catch a recap here.
By Ricardo Rolim
At Anheuser-Busch InBev, we know that engaging our stakeholders is a crucial component to fulfilling our dream to be the Best Beer Company Bringing People Together For a Better World. Earlier this month, we held a Twitter Chat with help from our friends at TriplePundit to share some of our achievements from 2014 and answer your questions. We were pleased that so many of you joined us to ask thoughtful questions and engage in dialogue.
Over the years, our emphasis on stakeholder engagement has evolved as we’ve continued to see that, through collaboration, our impacts can extend even further. We currently plan our Global Be(er) Responsible Day (GBRD) and World Environment Day activities, as well as various moments throughout the year, as milestones to engage partners and help make a difference in our communities.
Last year, for example, our Grupo Modelo team in Mexico invited their peer companies from the national beer association, Cerveceros de México, to participate in the first industry-wide celebration of GBRD. More than 16,200 Modelo volunteers, with over 15,700 additional industry volunteers, focused their efforts on combating underage drinking and sales of alcohol to minors. The campaign included the hashtag “#NoTeHagasGuey” (Don’t Fool Yourself) and a video, which has been viewed widely on YouTube, both in Mexico and globally. We celebrate the success of the campaign knowing that collaboration with industry partners was key in helping achieve us achieve such a high level of impact, and we will look for more opportunities to partner with peer companies in the future.
We saw another major milestone in 2014, as we successfully completed the six Global Responsible Drinking Goals that we set in 2011. But we didn’t make these achievements alone; we came together with our colleagues and partners globally to meet and even exceed some. Our Global Responsible Drinking Goals involved parents talking to their children, sellers and clerks checking IDs, and waiters and bartenders responsibly serving consumers. And with the help of our partners, we celebrated a Guinness World Records achievement for “most pledges received for a campaign,” with 747,496 pledges received between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The record was reached by training bartenders, waitstaff and store clerks around the world on the responsible serving and selling of alcoholic beverages, and encouraging them to pledge to follow these best practices every day. As is our culture to always think about what more we can be doing, we’ll be releasing a new set of Global Responsible Drinking Goals later this year.
In 2014, we also began the expansion of our SmartBarley program by increasing our barley grower benchmarking program to nearly 2,000 growers around the world. In order for our SmartBarley program to be effective on a large scale, we know we’ll need the continued collaboration of our barley growers and local partners, as well as our colleagues, to make sure our environmental sustainability efforts achieve results and continue to push boundaries. Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in the development of several partnership initiatives under SmartBarley, including providing access to quality seeds and inputs and deploying skilled agronomists to assist growers in the art of producing high-quality malt barley with the fewest inputs.
It means a lot to us that so many people took the time to engage with us during our chat earlier this month. If you missed it, you can always check out the recap and Storify of the conversation here. We’re making it a priority to find even more touch points to engage further with our consumers, partners and colleagues around the world, so please continue to let us know what you’re most interested in at @ABInBevNews. We look forward to connecting again soon.
Image courtesy of Anheuser Busch InBev
Ricardo Rolim is VP Global Sustainability for Anheuser Busch InBev.