We want 41 million conversations about climate change

Reading time: 2 minutes
26 January 2018

As business and government leaders gather in Davos to discuss the delivery of a sustainable economy, Brian Perkins, Global VP, Budweiser blogs on the launch of a new 100% renewable electricity label, as part of AB InBev's journey to go 100% renewable.

At Budweiser, we are passionate about brewing the highest quality beer – a product that relies on natural ingredients. So, for us, climate change matters. 

That’s why last year, our parent company, AB InBev, pledged to secure 100% of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. As a company operating in over 40 markets around the world, this shift to renewables has the potential to drive a remarkable transformation in infrastructure, not only in the US and Europe, but also across emerging nations around the world.

Image courtesy of Budweiser

Of course, we know that we are not alone on this journey, and we’re proud to be among the 122 companies that are part of RE100. The remarkable progress made by this collective has caught the attention of the business world, governments, NGOs and sustainability professionals.

The results are already tangible. For AB Inbev, it has led to the launch of Enel Green Power's Thunder Ranch Wind Farm in Oklahoma with its 300 MW capacity that will power 100% of the renewable electricity demand needed to brew Budweiser in the US.

Engaging consumers

Yet there is one important group who have been largely omitted from the conversation about this change: the consumer.

Here at Budweiser, we pride ourselves on our close relationship with our consumers and we know they care about climate change and want to act. This was evident in our research in the US, Canada, China, Brazil and India. But that research also shows that consumers feel powerless to do anything.

Not everyone has access to electric vehicles; not everyone – yet – has access to solar panels to power their homes and livelihoods. But, millions of people do come together to have a beer every day. This was our light bulb moment.

We sell around 41 million bottles of Budweiser per day. That’s an opportunity for 41 million potential conversations about climate change and the possibility of making better purchasing choices!

That’s why we decided to use the reach of our brand and put a symbol on the label of every Budweiser we sell when that country hits 100% renewable electricity in their Budweiser brewing operations.

Global roll-out

The labels will appear first in the United States beginning in spring 2018 – the first country where our beer will be brewed using 100% renewable electricity – before spreading from nation to nation as we hit our 100% renewable electricity targets in each market.

We’ve also recognized that this was not only an opportunity for us, but for brands around the world. So, we are encouraging others to adopt the label on any product that is made with 100% renewable electricity, that way we can all help build a movement that will celebrate renewable electricity as a way of tackling climate change.

Of course, we’re not claiming to have all the answers. That’s why we’re consulting leaders in sustainability, including our friends at The Climate Group. We are also working with Accenture to develop independent strategic guidelines on how this simple symbol can be adopted by other brands.

Image courtesy of Budweiser

But, by launching this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos alongside former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres, the convenor of the global initiative Mission 2020, we want to further raise awareness of renewable electricity in conjunction with other leading NGOs and seek a coalition with other brands to help us deliver this.

It is a simple idea, but we’re convinced of the importance of renewable electricity, and we’re very proud to say that our association with RE100 is a major part of that journey.

AB InBev joined RE100 in March 2017 and is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations.

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