Heineken Malaysia makes great strides in achieving its water sustainability target

HEINEKEN MALAYSIA BERHAD (Heineken Malaysia) recently announced that it had achieved a significant sustainability milestone in its mission to balance more than 100% of water used in its products.

Thanks to strides made under its Every Drop water strategy, the company was able to achieve this goal last year, 10 years ahead of schedule.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the Company’s Water Balancing Report 2020, Heineken Malaysia managing director Roland Bala said: “Water is central to Heineken and indeed a precious resource that is essential to all life. Our efforts in protecting our water resources over the years have enabled us to fully balance water used to brew our beers and ciders.

“We have an ambitious target to balance 1.5 litres for every 1 litre of water used in making our products.”

He added that last year, through initiatives like river and peatland conservation, rainwater harvesting, reforestation, and other community initiatives, Heineken Malaysia exceeded its water balancing target by 267%.

$!Roland Bala, managing director of Heineken Malaysia Berhad.

Heineken Malaysia’s water balancing achievements are quantified in line with international industry-standard methodologies consistent with the Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting framework published by the World Resources Institute. The results are independently validated and verified by LimnoTech, a leading international environmental science and engineering firm based in the USA.

Also at the launch were Heineken Malaysia corporate affairs and legal director Renuka Indrarajah and mananger for the RIVER Care Programme of GEC Dr. Kalithasan Kailasam, who spoke at length about the company’s various other initiatives under the W.A.T.E.R Project, a partnership between SPARK Foundation and GEC, which started in 2007.

Among the success stories were:

● The rehabilitation of Sungai Way, an urban river in an urban industrial zone, resulting in the improvement of the river’s water quality from Class IV – V (extremely polluted, not suitable for living organisms) to Class III (suitable for living organisms);

● Construction of a 305m clay dyke at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve that stores up to 136.1 million litres of water annually, contributing to the long-term sustainability of Sungai Selangor;

● Installation of over 1,000 water thimbles for more than 500 households in the Klang Valley, which resulted in water savings of 19 litres per capita per day on average;

● Installation of 16 rainwater harvesting systems for communities in Selangor, thus providing them with an alternative water source and reduce reliance on treated water for non-potable usage as well as relieving pressure on our water resources;

● Reforestation of one hectare of degraded peatland at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve, which reduces the risk of peat fires and increases the peatland’s water table, contributing to the health of Sungai Air Hitam within the Sungai Selangor watershed.

Roland added that he was optimistic that the company, buoyed by this recent achievement, would achieve the rest of its planned sustainability targets going forward.

“It is challenging,” he said, “but we believe in Heineken’s [mission]. We can do it as an organisation, and we are committed to do what we need to get there.”

Heineken Malaysia’s Water Balancing Report 2020 is available to the public via this link.