Sustainability, health, and happiness are increasingly demanded by consumers, particularly by the younger generations, and Heineken is at the forefront of several exciting and societal-wide transitions. Except Integrated Sustainability had the opportunity to work with Heineken Netherlands (HNL) to develop a new vision, strategy, and roadmap towards the ambitious goal of 100% circularity and energy-neutral operations.
The Heineken 100% Circular program was initiated to keep pace with the rapidly changing world we live in. Customers' demands for responsible products are increasing and Dutch and European legislation is already cracking down on single-use plastics and other types of non-renewable packaging.
Heineken aims to gain an edge over its competitors by leading this movement, positively impacting society but also their own resilience in the process.
In 2018 a multi-disciplinary team of 17 members from Heineken Nederland (HNL), Heineken Nederland Supply (HNS), and Except's sustainability and circularity experts joined forces.
Together, across an intense 3-day session, we kickstarted the Heineken 100% Circular program, resulting from a mission focused on where Heineken can reduce its negative impacts and increase the positive ones. For the next year, detailed tasks were aligned across the company to result in a complete roadmap for 100% circularity.
To help structure the process, the sessions used Except's Symbiosis in Development (SiD) sustainability framework. Thinking systemically helped us align goals, explore innovations, redesign internal governance, and develop a new roadmap.
The resulting program prioritizes actions and focus areas, addresses policies and practices, and identifies targets on sustainability beyond material goals to be met by 2030.
Additionally, to align with the material flows impacted by the Heineken 100% circular program, we set out to transition to 100% renewable energy too. In turn, these will help produce positive impacts on waste and water, initiate climate positivity, and increase biodiversity. All the while aiming to improve people’s connectivity, inspiration, health, and well-being.
The program sparked more than a dozen innovative and circular-waste-related sub-projects that Except has also partnered with or led. For example, resolving the challenges of festivals and their environmental challenges surrounding single-use plastic cups and bottles and marketing and promotional materials.