Heineken joins brewer rush for self supply

Heineken, the name behind big brands Strongbow, Bulmers, Heineken, Foster's, Kronenbourg 1664 and Desperados, has applied for a self supply retail licence. Like the drinks firms before it, including Greene King, Whitbread, Marston’s, Stonegate and Coca Cola European Partners, it has partnered with Waterscan, and the water management specialist will perform Heineken’s retail functions and provide technical support.

Heineken has breweries, cider plants and offices in Edinburgh, Tadcaster, Manchester, London, Hereford and Ledbury, and are a supporter of British agriculture, sourcing 100% of its malt and barley for UK brewed beer from UK farms and maltsters.

Heineken has a sustainability strategy, “Brewing a Better World”, which sets out its priorities and 2020 commitments. It has a strong focus on sourcing sustainability through sustainable farming, protecting water resources, and reducing carbon emissions through its “Drop the C” programme.

Water is a key component for its business, from growing hops, barley and apples to producing beer. In 2017 Heineken launched its global water programme, “Every Drop”. Since 2008, it has lowered its water use by 21% and has invested in more efficient equipment. Over £100 million has been invested into modernising its Manchester and Hereford sites and installing modern, efficient equipment. It is also making its existing equipment more efficient and finding new ways of doing things to reduce water use both at its sites and at the consumer level.

Self-supply for Heineken UK Ltd provides an opportunity to build on the works already undertaken and develop its partnership with Waterscan whilst driving cost and consumption control. In addition, it hopes that being an active participant in the market will drive further innovation and provide a direct customer voice in MOSL discussions.

Ofwat is consulting until 3 August.