We launched our Global Smart Drinking Goals — a set of programs and initiatives focused on shifting social norms, consumer behaviors, and our own business practices — in order to make a tangible contribution to the reduction of harmful use of alcohol globally.
Developed alongside public health officials, these goals reflect our belief in evidence-based solutions and that independent, rigorous and transparent measurement and evaluation are key to progress. Our goals are also designed to be collaborative and evolving. Working in partnership with public health bodies, civil society, and governments, we aim to implement evidence-based approaches, uncover new ways to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, and act upon them. Our intent is not only to use the knowledge generated by this work to improve our own efforts and business practices, but also to share what we learn with others.
Goal 1: Reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% in six cities by the end of 2020. Implement the best practices globally by the end of 2025.
Our six City Pilots aim to reduce harmful alcohol use by 10% in their locations by the end of 2020. We received guidance from experts to identify the cities where we could best make an impact and selected Leuven, Belgium; Johannesburg, South Africa; Brasília, Brazil; Jiangshan, China; Zacatecas, Mexico; and Columbus, Ohio, USA.
These City Pilots serve as laboratories for testing and evaluating evidence-based initiatives to reduce harmful drinking, and identifying promising ones worth scaling. The interventions within the pilots focus on addressing drinking and driving, underage drinking, binge drinking and other issues of local relevance. By 2025 we hope to take successful interventions global.
Local knowledge and leadership are critical components of the City Pilot approach. In each region a Steering Committee of local stakeholders, including government, universities and nongovernmental organizations, is charged with setting the direction of their city pilot, selecting and managing execution of programs, and coordinating partners.
The AB InBev Foundation has contracted HBSA to independently measure and evaluate the interventions within the City Pilots.
Goal 2: Invest $1 billion USD across our markets in dedicated social marketing campaigns and related programs by the end of 2025.
We’ve committed to investing at least $1 billion USD across our markets in dedicated social marketing campaigns and programs to influence social norms and individual behaviors to reduce harmful use of alcohol. This goal is not just about spending a specific amount, but rather spending with impact. This requires the implementation of evidence-based campaigns and programs grounded in social norms and social marketing theory.
Working in close collaboration with experts, we develop a Smart Drinking Toolkit to guide our marketing teams. We’ve also updated our Responsible Marketing and Communications Code and training for our colleagues. We continue to rely on input from the public health experts on our practices and welcome any advice on how to increase our impact.
From 2016 to 2019, we invested a total of USD $255.31 million across our markets in dedicated social marketing campaigns and programs to influence social norms and individual behaviors to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. For more information, please see our Social Norms Investments Audit here.
Goal 3: Ensure No- or Lower- Alcohol beer products represent at least 20% of AB InBev’s global beer volume by the end of 2025.
One important way we can help reduce harmful drinking is by providing consumers with lower- and non-alcoholic beer options. As a result, one of our Global Smart Drinking Goals is to ensure that low- or no-alcohol beer products make up at least 20% of our global beer volume by 2025.
Our ambition is for existing drinkers to integrate no-alcohol beers and beer with 3.5% ABV or lower into their current drink choices, reducing their overall total alcohol intake.
We are already making encouraging progress toward our goal. We have launched no-alcohol beers in many of our key markets, including Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Belgium, China and the UK, and have introduced new low-alcohol beer products in a number of countries including Canada, South Africa, Australia and multiple European markets.
Goal 4: Place a Guidance Label on all of our beer products in all of our markets by the end of 2020. Increase alcohol health literacy by the end of 2025.
We believe in helping consumers understand why and how alcohol should be consumed within limits. That’s why we’re collaborating with partners to identify and implement evidence-based ways to increase alcohol literacy among consumers.
The AB InBev Foundation is supporting public health researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine to develop a consumer guidance labeling strategy for beer to promote alcohol health literacy and reflect the current evidence base for consumer labeling.As part of this work, Tufts has conducted a literature review and hosted a consensus conference to review the evidence in January 2018. More information is available here.
Alcohol literacy is critical to every job function within our company. In 2016, we launched a compulsory Alcohol Literacy Training program to better educate our colleagues. Understanding the risks of harmful consumption and the best practices of smart drinking is a responsibility every one of our colleagues shares.
Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals
We take seriously our responsibility to help reduce and prevent the harmful use of alcohol throughout the world. We believe in and share the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ambition to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Through our efforts we aim to contribute to UN SDG target 3.5 – to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including harmful use of alcohol; target 3.6 – to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents; and Goal 17 – to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
This diagram illustrates how our sustainability and smart drinking work is aligned to the UN SDGs.