FOR THE GOOD OF SOCIETY
To conduct business sustainably also means to act for the good of society. This is why we need to ensure that our business success helps the people around us to develop and grow.
At Braun Union Österreich, acting for the good of society means:
– creating jobs in Austria
– living Austrian beer culture according to social and environmental standards
– offering products of the best quality
– building new partnerships, which drive sustainability in all areas
Brau Union Österreich employs approximately 2,200 people in many regions of the country. 2,200 jobs translate to 20 million euros of income tax which goes to support the national budget. Furthermore, the company paid around 100 million euros of tax on beer in 2015.
We donated around 20,000 euros to charity organizations in 2015.
From the beginning, our brands have sponsored activities in diverse areas – whether it is supporting the UEFA Champion’s League, partnering with the Austrian ski team or sponsoring Austrian soccer (football) clubs. Brau Union Österreich has a sponsoring presence at various music events and actively assists the organization. As a producer of alcoholic beverages, it is our duty to address societal themes, such as the responsible consumption of alcohol, protection of minors and drinking and driving.
We fully comply not only with strict legal requirements but also with the self-imposed rules outlined in “HEINEKEN Rules on Responsible Commercial Communication” (see http://www.theheinekencompany.com/about-us/business-conduct).
As the market leader, we have a certain responsibility to society – which is why we actively implement initiatives to make responsible beer consumption popular.”
Andreas Stieber, Head of Marketing
Brau Union Österreich has taken it upon itself to shape Austrian beer culture according to social and environmental requirements. Along with our commitment to the environment, we especially want to promote “responsible consumption” to our customers.
We want to bring the idea of responsible alcohol consumption closer to consumers. We do not find any kind of abuse acceptable and our activities focus on providing education and information on alcohol abuse and how to prevent it. We consciously avoid directing our advertising or marketing campaigns at teenagers or children. Regardless of whether you are a young adult attending a rock festival or an established member of the community at your local pub, we want to convince all of our consumers that quantity is not of consequence when drinking beer – only one thing is important: the quality of our products.
Since responsible consumption of alcohol is imperative to us, we have made it a topic to be communicated to everyone: this message can be seen on Gösser Beer banners displayed at winter sports events and on the Puntigam banners at soccer (football) games. The Zipfer Brewery discusses the problem of alcohol abuse on its homepage.
Heineken and Desperados take this one step further and use the slogan “Enjoy responsibly”, which makes a reference to additional information on the website and on the packaging. Moreover, Heineken has initiated its own three-part marketing campaign with the theme “Enjoy Heineken Responsibly”. Moderate alcohol consumption was publicized in 2015 at the Electric Love Festival with the motto “Dance more, drink slow”.
The HEINEKEN Family, and thus Brau Union Österreich, are members of “Enjoy Responsibly Day”. Together with AB InBev and Carlsberg, we have committed to organizing a one-day event annually devoted entirely to the responsible enjoyment of alcohol.
We have designed our brand portfolio to make it possible for consumers to consciously choose products which promote responsible consumption. Each year we invest 20% of our research budget in the development of non-alcoholic and reduced-alcohol beers. The result: today Brau Union Österreich offers eight reduced-alcohol beers alongside four non-alcoholic beers. The non-alcoholic shandy, Gösser Kracherl, ranked among the top innovations of 2015.
A representative survey yielded interesting results about Austrian beer culture and was included as part of our annual beer culture report. A responsible approach to alcohol was one of the focal points of the 2015 report.
We are also interested in showing our customers and consumers how we work: with brewery tours, brewery museums or through one of the special beer sommelier courses offered in Kaltenhausen. Since its inception, 100 beer sommeliers have been trained in the four-day courses (also see http://www.kaltenhausen.at/biersommelier.html).
Safe and healthy products of the best Austrian quality are exactly what beer lovers have come to expect from us. The quality of our products is continuously tested and evaluated in our laboratories. Potential risks are analyzed by HACCP systems. All of our products are free of genetic manipulation and are tested based on the international food standard (IFS). Austrian raw materials are used exclusively in the production of Gösser Beer and Reiningshaus, which is why they are allowed to bear the red-white-red AMA quality seal. The Schladminger Brewery offers exceptional beers certified with the BIOAustria seal of approval.
The residues from production, known as spent grains are utilized in agriculture, animal feed and as a high quality fertilizer. This saves on waste. In order to guarantee the safety of this by-product, the spent grains are labeled with the PASTUS+ symbol from Agrarmarkt Austria Gesmbh.
We want consumers to have sufficient access to information about beer ingredients and nutritional values. To accomplish this, we have agreed along with other members of the “Brewers of Europe” to voluntarily provide this type of information on our products from 2016 on.
“Good relationships are important in all areas – from product development to production, distribution and sales.”
Gabriela Maria Straka, Head of Communications/PR & CSR
PRGood partnerships bring many advantages: We learn new things from our partners in business and research by exchanging information with customers and consumers. We foster transparency with suppliers, business operators, political representatives and other key opinion leaders. Naturally, we are always happy to receive positive feedback, but also value constructive criticism and use dialog to constantly improve our products and our work processes. We attend events, podium discussions and professional trade presentations to gather feedback and information on current innovations. In 2015, our company was represented at the Regal Branchentreff, Cash Handelsforum and the REWE Sustainability Week.
We have links to Austrian universities through collaborative projects. We are also receptive to mentoring relevant scientific research. This keeps us on the cutting edge of technology and helps drive targeted innovations. New ideas are often implemented together with other companies; for example, we worked closely with the company BDI – BioEnergy International in Göss to ensure that our spent grain fermentation system runs smoothly. In Zipf, we are working with the company RAG, Rohöl Aufsuchungs-GmbH, to utilize geothermal energy in the brewing process.
We actively participate in the following organizations so that we can help shape a more social and environmentally sustainable future:
– Austrian Economic Chamber, Austrian Brewer’s Association
– ÖGI – Österreichisches Getränkeinstitut (Austrian Beverage Industry)
– IV – Industrielle Vereinigung Österreichs (Austrian Industry Association)
– MAV – Markenartikel-Verband (Association of Austrian Goods Industry)
– Österreichischer Energiekonsumenten-Verband (Association of Austrian Energy Consumers)
Once a year, we review our company image with our “Reputation Research” questionnaire. We survey stakeholders from the following sectors: gastronomy, food retail, media, politics, lobby groups, NGOs as well as Brau Union Österreich employees. The focal points of the 2015 survey included our company image, our capacity for innovation and competition, the perception of individual products, sustainability projects and employee commitment. A total of 608 people were surveyed online in addition to 55 interviewed over the telephone. The results speak for themselves: compared to 2014, the results for Brau Union Österreich’s image showed an improvement in 2015, with more exposure regarding our efforts in the area of sustainability.
We produced the film “Too Fast” in collaboration with pro mente Oberösterreich. The film is shown in Austrian schools to teach teenagers about responsible alcohol consumption and describe the consequences of alcohol abuse.
You can watch the film here:
In the coming year, we are placing a strong focus on the responsible consumption of alcohol in society. This should drive the cooperation with various stakeholders so that we remain at the forefront of sustainability in the brewing industry. New innovations will also be unveiled during this time.