Lieshout, 9 November – Bavaria is the first brewer in the world and one of the first businesses in the Netherlands to have successfully and demonstrably implemented ISO 26000, the new standard for sustainable business practices. Bavaria follows the international consensus about the meaning of sustainable business operations. For that reason, the family business from Lieshout was yesterday handed the ‘Koplopers Bokaal’ by Willem Lageweg, managing director of CSR Netherlands.
Bavaria is the first Dutch food business and the world’s first brewer to demonstrably and fully implement ISO 26000. As such, the business endorses important CSR principles which, among other things, relate to taking responsibility, transparency and respecting the interests of stakeholders. For reasons of external control on prudence, Lloyds has verified the implementation of the ISO 26000 guideline at Bavaria.
Bavaria is now among the world top in terms of energy and water consumption. The company achieved a 15% reduction in its water consumption over a period of only two years for instance. Bavaria has also set up a programme to reduce energy consumption by a couple of percentages each year, as a result of which total energy consumption will have fallen by more than 20% by 2020. DHV engineering consultants guided Bavaria through the process.
Peer Swinkels, Bavaria board member: ‘We’re extremely proud of this new status. Having been able to involve all stakeholders in this major step has proved very valuable. For us, it was exceptional to see how far we were actually on the road towards sustainable business practice, because as a family business we’re used to looking beyond the generations. The implementation of ISO 26000 is therefore certainly not a final destination for us, but the starting point for handing over the family business to future generations in a responsible manner.’
About ISO 26000
Sustainable business practice has seen major developments in the business sector during the past few years. Various standards have been developed that enable businesses to demonstrate their efforts in this field. The ISO 26000 guideline was launched by the ISO Working Group for Social Responsibility as recently as 1 November of this year, and it is the first standard that covers the overall business operations of a company; from production to marketing and purchasing, staff and environment. One unique aspect is that the ambitions in the field of sustainability are determined in consultation with all the stakeholders of a business.
As an independent family business, Bavaria brewery takes up a unique position in the international beer market. The company is managed by the seventh generation of the Swinkels family. Apart from beer, Bavaria also produces soft drinks. In addition, they work closely with De Koningshoeven beer brewery (La Trappe), the only Trappist beer brewery in the Netherlands. Bavaria is the only major beer brewer in the Netherlands to brew beer from pure natural mineral water from its own spring. As Bavaria also produces its own malt, the entire chain is under its own management. The malt houses in Lieshout and Eemshaven are owned by Holland Malt BV, a joint venture between Bavaria and Agrifirm, a farmers’ cooperative. This typifies the philosophy of the family business: beer of a constant high quality. Bavaria employs a total of about 1000 people in the Netherlands and abroad. Bavaria is available in 130 countries. Out of the six and a half million hectolitres of beer produced by Bavaria on an annual basis, almost 70% is destined for the foreign market. http://www.bavaria.com/
Eva van den Hout
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