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HEINEKEN Brazil announces impact business ecosystem

From citrus farming to the opening of recycling centers, the brewery brings together companies and entrepreneurs to address social and environmental challenges in the market


HEINEKEN Brazil, the second largest brewery in the country, announces the creation of Spin, an impact business ecosystem that kicks off its operations with partnerships with leading companies in their respective fields, such as Ambipar, Rizoma Agro, Raízen, Ultragaz, Better Drinks, and Central Única das Favelas (CUFA). With an initial investment of R$ 150 million, Spin represents the brewery’s biggest leap in its ESG journey since arriving in Brazil, in 2010, with a mission to go beyond beer production to contribute to the transformation and decarbonization of its value chain.

Spin starts with four pillars defined based on their relevance in the climate emergency we face: packaging circularity, regenerative agriculture, energy transition and impact brands. With distinct business models but aligned in the same commitment to generating shared value, the ecosystem is based on collaboration to develop solutions where everyone wins, the brewery, the partner companies and the society.

For HEINEKEN Brazil´s CEO, Mauricio Giamellaro, the need to rethink growth models at any cost is more urgent than ever. “Facing so many extreme events, we believe that collaboration is the best way for the transformation that needs to happen in the business world. The capital wheel can keep spinning if we are able to give a new meaning to this mechanism. Our most ambitious move starts now with Spin, which goes against traditional vertical integration models”, Giamellaro states.

Impact businesses by Spin 

• Regenerative agriculture: In partnership with Rizoma Agro, the first phase of this business model will take place in an area of over 800 hectares in the city of Itu, in the countryside of São Paulo, where the companies will produce organic citrus using nature’s own technology in a productive agroforestry and regeneration system. With this solution, carbon can be sequestered from the environment and is possible to reinforce the region’s water resilience and create at least 100 new jobs. The fruits will be commercialized, and the profit reinvested in expanding the business model to other regions of the country. 

• Packaging circularity: Through a new circular system developed with Ambipar, the brewery aims to recycle more glass bottles than it currently puts on the market. The starting point of the business is to cover areas with high packaging volumes but almost no glass collection due to the high costs of reverse logistics for this material. Receiving, sorting, and processing centers will be built for the glass so that, at the end of the process, the waste can be reintegrated into the glass chain, increasing the percentage of recycled content in the brewery’s bottles. This closed system ensures reverse logistics and better compensation for all links in this chain, including recyclable collectors, essential actors in this process. 

• Impact brands: This pillar reflects the ambition to bring the socio-environmental agenda closer to consumers. Along with Better Drinks and CUFA’s Favelas Business School, Spin proposes a new model of partnership with small and medium entrepreneurs where traditional financial support is replaced by sharing what each company does best. From the brewery’s side, this includes access to raw materials, production lines, and an efficient distribution system. On the partners’ side, the development of purpose-driven and innovative brands. In addition to mutual learning, the 
partnership will increase market share for the brands, and results will be shared among the companies. 

• Energy transition: In addition to producing beer with renewable energy, HEINEKEN Brazil already has one of the largest renewable energy platforms in the country, Heineken® Green Energy, a result of the partnership with distributors Raízen and Ultragaz, which are also now part of Spin. Within the same ecosystem, it will be possible to significantly expand the program’s reach and its benefits, such as facilitating access to clean energy and reducing electricity bills for bars, restaurants and consumers. 

“Some years of studies and discussions have led us to Spin, which now embodies our desire to ensure that growth and positive impact move together. With the initial learnings and results from this ecosystem, we hope that new companies, directly or indirectly linked to the sector, can join us to inspire solutions that are good for business and, above all, better for the planet”, concludes Mauro Homem, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs at HEINEKEN Brazil.

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