Brewer Budweiser AB InBev “off track” on its goal of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer

Cans of Budweiser beer are displayed on a supermarket shelf in Shanghai, China February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

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DAVOS, Switzerland, May 25 (Reuters) – Brewer Budweiser AB InBev (ABI.BR) is “not on track” to meet its goal of making 20% ​​of its volume of alcohol-free, low-carbon beer. alcohol by 2025, its sustainability director Ezgi Barcenas told Reuters on Wednesday.

“We are still a bit above 6%,” Barcenas said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, adding: “We are off track.”

AB InBev’s targets were set to help the World Health Organization achieve its goal of reducing harmful alcohol consumption – the consumption of alcoholic beverages that cause car crashes, illnesses and birth defects – 10% in each country by 2025.

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Barcenas said the targets had been met before AB InBev’s mega-deal with SABMiller Plc, which led to a radical change in the company’s footprint. She also said that “AB InBev’s business strategy is changing”.

“What we really want to do is give the consumer choice and information,” Barcenas said. “At the time it was announced, we had no choice. We want to focus on choice rather than pushing volume.”

AB InBev has met the 20% target in some countries, such as China and Panama, according to its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, which shows it has also expanded its alcohol-free brands to 42 vs. 26 in the past. five years.

The brewer, whose brands include Hoegaarden Rose 0.0% and Jupiler 0.0%, now offers more than 80 non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers and drinks, Barcenas said.

Climate change and corporate action to curb it is a theme at the annual gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss alpine ski resort of Davos.

Barcenas said soaring energy prices – seen by WEF leaders as potentially disrupting companies’ climate goals – will accelerate payback periods for green energy projects.

“It speeds up the transition and strengthens the business case for investing in efficiency,” she said.

AB InBev aims to be net zero carbon emissions across its entire value chain by 2040. Like many beverage and consumer product manufacturers, it faces the biggest challenge of reducing its so-called scope three emissions, which come from consumers throwing away beer cans and bottles and dispensing.

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Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Jessica DiNapoli in Davos, Switzerland; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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