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HEINEKEN’s approach to reduce our environmental impact in agriculture

As brewers, we know that to craft the perfect pint of beer we need to start with the perfect grains. That includes the search for the best quality, but also for ways to reduce our environmental footprint.


HEINEKEN has set a goal to reach net zero carbon emissions in the value chain by 2040 and agriculture accounts for 19% of our total emissions.1

We are driving systemic change to reduce these emissions through our “Low Carbon Farming” programme. By working collaboratively with farmers and leveraging sustainable agricultural practices, the program has proven to be effective in reducing carbon emissions and increasing carbon sequestration. With the pilots in our Low Carbon Farming Programme: 

  • We obtained an average 13% reduction of CO2 emissions and 81% improvement of CO2 sequestration (the process of capturing, removing, and storing atmospheric CO2 into the soil) *. 
  • The most applied practices are cover cropping, residues management, and the change of Nitrogen forms and application. 
  • Our results are based on almost 200 pilots in 13 countries with 15 partners in 2022. We aim to reach at least 500 pilots in different regions by 2025. 

*Based on data from Cool Farm Tool and validated by a third-party agronomist consultancy firm. 

The next step in our journey is to amplify our carbon-centric approach to a more holistic view: regenerative agriculture. This way we go beyond the benefit of carbon emissions reduction to also consider soil health as the enabler for better water infiltration, biodiversity, and farmers livelihood.  Another focus is on the water used in agriculture - we aim to set up ways of improving water quality and efficiency with suppliers, especially in water stressed areas. 

Our first regenerative agriculture project has started in Ireland, involving the following partners Pernod Ricard,  Irish Distillers, Boortmalt and Earthworm. By adopting regenerative agricultural practices, farmers will progressively restore and improve the ecological balance in their fields. 

Another challenge is to address emissions related to fertilizer production. As part of our systemic approach in agriculture, we know the importance of having bridging solutions to a low carbon path. Therefore, we are investing in a company called FertigHy – alongside Siemens Financial Services, EIT InnoEnergy, RIC Energy, MAIRE, InVivo, where we aim to develop low-carbon fertilizer solutions. The goal is to replace the traditional source of natural gas with renewable electricity to create low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia, which helps to decarbonise agricultural fertilisers. With this project, we want to stimulate demand for low-carbon fertilizers and have a wider positive impact in the agricultural industry. 

There are many challenges to decarbonise at scale, but we are on a journey with our partners to solve them together. 

One day at a time, we can #BrewABetterWorld. 

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