The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Sustainability top of the agenda for DB Breweries 

db_breweries_managing_director_andy_routleyDB Breweries has published its inaugural sustainability report, formalising a sustainability journey that started many years ago.

The report showcases DB’s performance in its six sustainability focus areas, which have been identified as most important to the business and its stakeholders. However, it also highlights areas for improvement as well as DB’s sustainability commitments for the future. 

DB Breweries Managing Director, Andy Routley, says that the business takes sustainability very seriously. “For many, sustainability has become a catch cry or a marketing exercise. At DB sustainability is both a strategic priority and a business imperative. It’s built into the performance objectives of our leadership and senior management teams and it shapes the way we do business right across our value chain, from barley to bar.” 

The organisation’s ‘Brewing a Better World’ sustainability programme aligns with parent company HEINEKEN’s strategy and contributes to global targets, yet also focuses on what’s really important in a New Zealand context.

The programme works to create shared value for the business, its stakeholders and the planet and Routley firmly believes it makes good business sense.

“It’s no secret that DB continues to operate in a challenging marketplace – the New Zealand beer category is in gradual long-term decline and the regulatory environment continues to tighten. Now more than ever, it’s essential that we do business in a way that considers and addresses our social, environmental and economic impacts both today and into the future,” he says.

Leading the way to make drinking in moderation aspirational remains at the top of DB’s sustainability agenda. In 2014, the company activated a responsible consumption initiative with New Zealand Rugby League, sponsoring the Kiwi’s with the industry’s Cheers! brand during their Four Nations tournament and aligned with the Health Promotion Agency’s (HPA) Not Beersies campaign, plumbing bars across the North Island with Not Beersies branded (water) taps.

Innovation in the low alcohol space as well as responsible marketing and product labeling also contributed to driving the responsible consumption agenda in 2014. 

Advocating responsible consumption remains a priority for DB today and into the future. We recognise that while the number of people drinking too much is decreasing, this remains a key issue for New Zealand society and one we’re committed to addressing,” says Routley. 

Protecting water resources and reducing carbon emissions are also focus areas for the business. Since 2005, DB has decreased its water consumption by 14.4%, while CO2 emissions per hectolitre have decreased 35% since 2008. 

Sourcing sustainably is another key focus area for us and we are committed to working closely with our suppliers to drive positive impacts for the environment and our communities. Local sourcing is a key element of this and one of our 2014 success stories was that more than 95% of the fresh fruit used at our Nelson-based Redwood Cidery comes from within 30km of the premises,” says Routley.

 “We’re really proud not only of the initiatives our report showcases but also the challenges it lays down for us to keep working on. At DB, we believe it’s our responsibility to lead the way in each of our six focus areas and we will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure we all enjoy a long sustainable future,” he adds. 

To read the full report visit