HEINEKEN Slovensko, a division of the global brewing giant, says its wants to be the most ecological brewery in Slovakia by 2020, an aim that helped the company win the Via Bona award from the Pontis Foundation in the Responsible Large Corporation category.
Based in Hurbanovo (Nitra Region), Heineken Slovensko officials say they focus on six crucial areas: the protection of water resources, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, the use of local sustainable sources, the support of responsible beer drinking, the development of its employees, the protection of their health and safety, and the development of local communities.
Green technologies preferred
“In past years we have invested more than €10 million into green technologies,” Heineken spokeswoman Hana Šimková said.
One of the gases which emerge during beer production is carbon dioxide. To reduce its presence in the atmosphere, the company installed a device to collect it and to use it when saturating the beer during its packing.
In addition, the company has its own sewage water treatment plant and the biogas produced during the treatment process is then used for producing electricity.
Heineken also tries to collaborate with local suppliers. Of together 1,200 suppliers, 1,000 come from Slovakia.
Friendly to the environment
The company also tries to motivate its suppliers to use environmentally friendly vehicles, by applying the so-called green rules in 2015 that gives priority to logistic firms using more ecologic vehicles.
Additionally, it tries to reduce the mileage of not fully loaded vehicles, and emissions. To do so, it uses the services of combined truck-train-truck transport to import beers from the Netherlands.
Every employee in Heineken has his or her own personal development plan and possesses all information about salary conditions, Šimková said. This means they do not know only their wage and wage class, but also the maximum amount of variable wage component, wage range and basic information about wage hike.
“The protection of health and safety of our employees is extremely important for us,” she said. “Thus we devote more attention to this topic via communication and training.”
The brewery tries to behave responsibly also towards communities. It regularly attends the biggest volunteering event in Slovakia, Our Town.
Moreover, it launched a grant programme titled “We are at home here”, through which it helps improve Hurbanovo. The aim of the programme, prepared in cooperation with Nitra Community Foundation and local authority, is to support the public activities of the town’s inhabitants. The company allocated €29,700 for 10 projects last year.
In addition, Heineken focuses on the environment via the “Peace beyond the town” project, with which it protects and refines green areas in towns across Slovakia.
People at Heineken are also aware of the negative consequences of drinking beer, including health, social and economic problems, and thus spread information about why it is important to be careful, Šimková said.
Moreover, when promoting its products, the company observes ethical rules which are often tougher than the law. It, for example, does not place its advertisements close to kindergartens, schools and medical facilities. Moreover, it uses only actors older than 25 years of age, and does not broadcast the ads during programmes for children.
By Viktória Botošová and Radka Minarechová
18. Mar 2016 at 6:00