February 28, 2022

Our Corporate Affairs Director, Millicent Maroga penned an article about the importance of a holistic approach to sustainability. Maroga asserts that the sustainability strategy is an organisation’s lifeline, and not a strategy.

How SA companies can evolve and utilise global best practice

By Millicent Maroga, Corporate Affairs Director at HEINEKEN South Africa
As we conclude yet another eventful year, SA companies are presented with another opportunity to start on a clean slate – particularly when coming to effectively delivering on their corporate sustainability agenda.

This is an opportune time for corporates to interrogate their sustainability approaches, identify where room for improvement lies, establish whether their goals address societies’ and environmental problems at an advanced level. To ensure that this is the case, global best practice remain a good benchmark to acing corporate citizenship. Admittedly, this is not overlooking the reality that SA’s societal challenges are unique and need to be tackled accordingly.

However, it is not implausible to think that consumers both locally and abroad, including
environmental factors, do share various similar traits. Thus, a holistic sustainability approach that takes after some international standards will improve corporates’ sustainability performance. With that in mind, these three key points can sum up a company’s sustainability agenda and yield great results for both the business and its stakeholders:

Cater for the society holistically or inclusively

We are becoming more aware of how diverse our world is, and we cannot be passive tout inclusive and diversity without action. Employees need to feel that they belong, differently abled colleagues, women and individuals with different sexual orientations should be free to aim for growth opportunities within the organisation. Consumers must also feel acknowledged by the organisation, how can you influence of advocate for their rights without coming across as salesy or as promotional?

Advocate for responsible product use or consumption
Every product can be harmful to humans if not used or consumed in moderation, this is corporates have a responsibility to educate their consumers about regulating their use of products. Part of this including communicating openly about the negative effects of irresponsible consumption of their products. Consumers have a right to know to what extent your product is good for their health and environment, your marketing campaigns should be able to answer some of these questions.

Eliminate carbon footprint
A topic that has grown year-on-year, if your organisation is not concerned about its carbon footprint, then it is time to go back to the drawing board and evaluate how it is contributing to it. You need to have goals on how you will eliminate carbon emissions at a set time, this is not a pipe dream it is possible. Water is a scarce commodity, a solution to use less water is highly necessary. Lastly, the transformation to renewable energy overdue, and the great news is that in a long run all these sustainability goals come with great results for your organisation.

A sustainability strategy is not a luxury, it is your organisation’s lifeline. Your organisation needs it. At HEINEKEN South Africa, we recently embarked on the new 2030 Brew a Better World commitments

which are woven into the fabric of our new balanced growth strategy, EverGreen, putting
sustainability and responsibility front and centre as we write our next growth chapter. We are aware that the world is facing even more pressing social and environmental challenges requiring decisive and collective action, this is why we had evolve our sustainability strategy.

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