Perfection at every turn Carlsberg for sustainability

14:19 | 02/12/2019
Businesses have an increasingly important role to play in securing a sustainable future – and sustainability has always been at the core of Carlsberg’s corporate strategy since visionary founder J. C. Jacobsen established the company in 1847. Nathaniel Moxom, managing director of Carlsberg Vietnam, regaled Bich Thuy with the world-famous brewer’s achievements over its 170-year journey.
perfection at every turn carlsberg for sustainability
Huda donated 7,000 gifts for Central Vietnamese families at the Lunar New Year

It was not until recent years that most brands began appreciating the importance of sustainable development for their business, but Carlsberg has been claiming to embrace sustainability from the very first. How did it all begin for you?

perfection at every turn carlsberg for sustainability
Nathaniel Moxom, managing director of Carlsberg Vietnam

For us here at Carlsberg, everything started in 1847 when our founder J. C. Jacobsen established a modern brewery at Valby Hill outside Copenhagen to enable his desire to pursue perfection and the art of brewing. With the belief that science is the fundamental key to achieving his goals, he founded Carlsberg Laboratory specialising in barley, brewing techniques, and fermentation in 1875. Throughout its lifetime, Carlsberg Laboratory has always been a pioneer of the group, contributing many revolutionary inventions to the worldwide brewing industry.

However, Jacobsen’s ambition did not stop at brewing better beer every day. To him, the journey to pursue perfection in the art of brewing could only be sustained by creating products that are associated with social responsibility. That triggered him to establish Carlsberg Foundation in 1876 by issuing a Deed of Gift to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Under the management of Denmark’s greatest minds, since then, Carlsberg Foundation has overseen every activity taking place at Carlsberg Group, ensuring that the corporation is run with a strong focus on innovation and high-quality products, as well as community welfare in all aspects: from science and education support to culture and art conservation.

From the life-long desire of a great visionary, “Pursuing Perfection” has become a cornerstone for every step of our development. That philosophy has shaped the purpose of Carlsberg Group throughout our journey of over 170 years.

Securing a sustainable future means accompanying the world to confront sustainability challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, and public health concerns. How does Carlsberg get involved in this journey of a global scope?

As I have mentioned before, every step in Carlsberg’s development follows a steady, predetermined path where profitability and sustainability exist in harmony. Understanding that sustainable development is not a goal that can be accomplished in the short term, we always develop and adopt long-term strategies with the hope of creating positive and significant impacts on our community globally.

Currently, we are implementing Together Towards ZERO – our sustainability programme that expresses our vision for a better tomorrow at a time when serious challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, and public health concerns are posing a great threat to society. The programme consists of four ambitions: ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking, and a ZERO accidents culture. Each of these is underpinned by individual and measurable targets leading up to 2022 and 2030.

Till now, Together Towards ZERO has achieved remarkable results, especially in the two environment-related goals. In terms of ZERO carbon footprint, we aim to eliminate carbon emissions at all of our breweries and minimise beer-in-hand impacts by 2030. We have also achieved 20 per cent of our carbon reduction plan against the 2015 baseline. In 2018, our coal usage was reduced by 28 per cent compared to 2017, which amounted to 78 per cent depletion since 2015. It was also recorded that renewable sources generated up to 46 per cent of our total electricity consumption.

Additionally, our ambition is followed by the introduction of Snap Pack, yet another ground-breaking development of Carlsberg. As a global pioneer in packaging for the beer industry, the Snap Pack replaces traditional plastic shrink by using special glueing technology to hold multipacks together. Compared to traditional packaging, the adoption of Snap Pack will reduce plastic usage by up to 76 per cent, which means more than 1,200 tonnes of plastic – an equivalent to 60 million plastic bags.

Moreover, with the goal of ZERO water waste, Carlsberg is continuing to roll-out wastewater recycling technology around the world. A 9 per cent improvement in water efficiency against the 2015 baseline is a promising result. To make a serious effort to accomplish the goal, our company refined our water waste roadmap last year, placing an increased focus on emerging technologies in water saving.

perfection at every turn carlsberg for sustainability

Since its entry to the country in 1993, how is Carlsberg’s sustainable purpose reflected in its activities in Vietnam?

Carlsberg Vietnam has been making great efforts in building a sustainable community by proactively executing practical activities with remarkable results to accompany Vietnamese people on the journey of building a sustainable community.

One of our latest initiatives in the third quarter of 2019 was the adoption of CDL can lids to all of our products across our brand portfolios in Vietnam including Huda, Carlsberg, Tuborg, and Halida. By reducing 10 per cent of the aluminium input while maintaining the performance in terms of durability and pressure resistance, CDL can lids not only help optimise the manufacturing and operation process but also minimise harmful effects on the environment.

Also in September 2019, one of our key brands in Vietnam – Huda – officially announced a long-term CSR project named “Fresh water for our beloved Central”, aiming to help the people of Central Vietnam access fresh water while giving them a helping hand to create better lives for future generations. The first three projects in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri are expected to bring clean water to more than 1,000 households, equal to more than 4,000 people living in these central provinces.

In fact, for nearly 30 years now, Huda has engaged in countless activities in Central Vietnam to share the daily burdens of local people as well as help build a better future for them and their families. This Lunar New Year holiday, Huda has donated 7,000 New Year gifts with a total value of around VND3.5 billion ($152,000) for families with special needs. Accompanying Central Vietnamese people to prevent marine pollution, this year, Huda continues rolling out its Clean the Beach project at Thien Cam Beach. A total 700kg of waste was collected, showing our wish to gradually educate and encourage people to join hands for a better tomorrow.

Carlsberg’s more than 170-year journey embraces the philosophy of pursuing perfection at every step. The work of Carlsberg includes not only delivering high-quality products, but also contributing to efforts that can actually impact the society positively to ensure the objective of “brewing for a better today and tomorrow”. Having accompanied Vietnamese people for nearly 30 years, Carlsberg continuously makes changes to improve beer experiences and also creates meaningful projects that drive the company towards sustainable goals, as well as spreads spiritual values to Vietnamese consumers.

Being the third-largest brewing company in the world, besides continuous efforts in making positive changes to the environment and human welfare, product quality and customer experience must also be prioritised for Carlsberg’s sustainable development. How do you reconcile these goals?

Quality and customer experience are certainly essential. Throughout nearly 30 years in Vietnam, Carlsberg has made relentless efforts to capture the quintessence of Danish brewing techniques to deliver better quality products every day. Our two latest innovations launched in 2018 – Carlsberg Smooth Draught and Huda Ice Blast – are the best representations of these efforts. While Carlsberg Smooth Draught managed to deliver the smooth sensation of freshly tapped beer, which indeed suits Asian taste, the unique maturing technique at -1 degree Celsius of Huda Ice Blast success retains the finest flavour and aroma in each ice-cold drop of beer, which is needed to ease the summer heat in Central Vietnam. In order to deliver a diverse drinking experience for consumers, recently, Carlsberg Vietnam has unveiled the can version of Huda Ice Blast, bringing a more modern and fashionable look for this beloved product in Central Vietnam.

Not stopping at product quality, our journey of continuous innovation also aims at diversifying beer experiences among consumers. The introduction of ZerO2 Cap for Carlsberg Smooth Draught this year is yet another example of how drinking experience is elevated at Carlsberg. Thanks to an innovative oxygen scavenger liner placed in this high-tech cap, the freshness of beer is preserved up to 15 per cent longer compared to other conventional caps. From physical to emotional aspects, it is Carlsberg’s mission to strive for better.

Earlier in April 2019, to celebrate the record-breaking sponsorship with Liverpool FC, which has extended to 31 consecutive seasons, Carlsberg introduced a limited edition beer called Carlsberg Red Barley, using the ancient rare barley to give the beer a natural red colour. Carrying the spirit of red, this one-of-a-kind product has empowered Liverpool FC as well as their fans on the way to conquer UEFA Champions League 2019.

Also in 2019, as a part of the effort to highlight the beauty of central provinces and nourish national pride, we have released the limited edition of Huda beer can with designs inspired by significant sceneries from eight provinces, from Thanh Hoa to Quang Nam. With this limited edition can packaging, Carlsberg Vietnam wants to evoke the love and pride in each and every citizen of Central Vietnam by rediscovering the beauty of their homeland, as well as arouse curiosity and encourage international friends to explore Vietnam’s undiscovered charms. To us at Carlsberg, a quality product is not simply a product with good taste, but also one that can connect and accompany meaningful and enjoyable moments of people.

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