Heineken is at the forefront of a number of large transitions in society. Sustainability is increasingly demanded by consumers. Health and happiness are important subjects with younger generations. Dutch and European legislation is cracking down on single-use plastics and other types of non-renewable packaging. Together with Heineken Netherlands (HNL) we drew a vision, strategy, and roadmap towards 100% circularity and energy neutral operations.

The Heineken 100% Circular program is initiated to keep pace with the rapidly changing world we live in. Customers demand increasing responsibility from their products, which will eventually impact sales. Heineken sets out not just to follow, but to lead, gain brand value by positively impacting society, and contribute to a resilient company.

In 2018 a multi-disciplinary team of 17 members of Heineken Nederland (HNL), Heineken Nederland Supply (HNS), and Excepts sustainability and circularity experts, joined forces. Together they developed the Heineken 100% Circular program, during an intense 3-day session. Their mission: figure out where Heineken can reduce its negative impact, and increase its positive impact.

To help structure the process, the sessions used the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) sustainability framework. Together, goals were aligned, innovations explored, pathways set out, governance designed, and a roadmap developed.

The resulting program prioritizes actions and focus areas, addresses policies and practices, and identifies targets on sustainability beyond material goals to be reached in 2031. In addition to making the material flows impacted by Heineken 100% circular, we set out to transition to 100% renewable energy. These in turn make their impact on waste and water, becomes climate positive, and increases biodiversity. All this while aiming to improve people’s connectivity, inspiration, and promoting health and wellbeing.

The program has sparked more than a dozen subprojects. For example, Except helped to resolve the challenges around single-use plastic cups at festivals, single-use bottles, and making marketing and promotional materials circular.

Jacob Verhaart
by Jacob Verhaart
Head of Science, Industrial Ecologist

Feb. 3, 2021

Client & Partners

  • heineken.png

Project team

  • Antonia Sore


  • Emma Westerduin

    Architect and Project Manager

  • Jon Woning


  • Monica Visniuc

    Industrial Ecologist

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Gertjan van Hardeveld

    Business Strategist
    Except Integrated Sustainability