Brewing a Better World

Brewing a Better World (BaBW) is Heineken Group’s strategy to ensuring that our operations’ imprint on the environment and society is sustainable.

BaBW Governance and approach

Our stakeholders are crucial to our Brewing a Better World (BaBW) journey. They help us to stay focused and tell us when they feel we are moving off track. We engage with them and measure the progress of our relationships in three ways: reputational research, roundtables and ongoing stakeholder dialogue.

The input we gain enables us to assess our material issues, identify gaps in our approach and shape our action planning.

Through expert meetings and roundtables, a broad group of stakeholders including, peers, suppliers, government and NGOs meet with our internal specialists to share knowledge and insights on our sustainability performance and areas where we can improve.

Meetings are specific to our focus areas and designed to:

  • Get feedback on strategy, commitments and progress
  • Share opportunities and dilemmas
  • Discuss trends and innovation
In 2019 for instance, we hosted a water roundtable meeting, with stakeholders to shape our water strategy and the road ahead, attracting attendance from 16 local and international NGOs and governmental organizations such as TCCC, Water for people, Trocaire, Minifra/ water division, Ministry of environment, AFDB, Wasac, safe organization, Water aid, living water international, USAID, World vision Rwanda, SDGs center for Africa, MLFN, Health builders, Global grassroots.

We focus on six areas where we feel are in position to make greater impact, which are protecting water resources, reducing carbon emissions, sourcing sustainably, advocating responsible drinking, promoting health and safety and growing with communities. Bralirwa operations and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in 2019 contributed to each of these pillars.

Our Focus Areas

In dropping the “C” as envisaged in the Heineken sustainability commitment, Bralirwa Plc in 2019 undertook several initiatives towards reducing carbon emissions in all its operations. Key initiatives implemented throughout the year included introducing hydrocarbon coolant R134a in all its refrigerators as well as the use of Liquid Petroleum Gas for all forklifts. In addition, Bralirwa in 2019 embarked on the construction of its 1MW solar plant at the Gisenyi brewery, which will reduce heavy fuels previously burnt to generate electricity that powers its operations.


The Heineken sustainability strategy to make “Every Drop Count” continued to guide initiatives for efficient use of water resources. Following the construction and commissioning of wastewater treatment plants at both the Gisenyi brewery and Kigali soft drinks plant, Bralirwa continued to use water from these facilities to flush toilets and in gardening, saving hundreds of cubic meters of fresh water. In 2019, Bralirwa started the use of treated effluent in cleaning bottles upstream, reinforcing its efficiency in conserving water resources.

With crosscutting impact on reducing carbon emissions and conserving water resources, Bralirwa in 2019 stepped up its tree planting efforts, with the vision to make Rubavu, the home of its brewery, greener and consequently contribute to greening Rwanda.
Using the same crates that move our beverages across the country, we transported and distributed 6 million trees to farmers in various parts of Rwanda. We also procured and participated in the planting of 20,000 fruit and forest trees.

Our advocacy for responsible drinking continued, contributing to Rwanda Police’s campaign to sensitize the public against driving under the influence of alcohol, putting safety first as always.

The “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign, which was rolled out under the slogan “Gerayo Amahoro”, reached thousands of people with the aim of making Rwandan roads safer.

To augment our contribution to the growth of the Rwandan economy, Bralirwa continued to invest in building local value chains for the commodities used in production of our beverages, with the intention of progressively increasing the percentage of raw materials sourced locally.

Over the past five years, we have continued to strengthen the maize value chain by supporting smallholder farmers to practice better farming and increase their productivity. In addition, our investment in maize farming, the Bramin Maize Farm in Ndego Sector in Kayonza district, has continued to grow in quality and quantity of maize, which is processed to provide the maize brits used in brewing some of our beverages.

In addition, Bralirwa has begun contributing to growing the barley value chain in Rwanda, which will further boost our local sourcing of raw materials.
Placing health and safety first in all our operations has continued to take hold as an institutional culture and in 2019, we made 5 years of accident free operations at our soft drinks plant in Kigali as well as 1 year at the Gisenyi brewery.

Similarly, accidents by our fleet and of trucks involved in primary distribution reduced significantly over the past five years thanks to effective use of telematics.

Accidents involving our own fleet reduced by 88 percent from 26 in 2014 to 3 in 2019. Similarly, accidents involving the primary distribution fleet reduced from 20 in 2015 to 3 in 2019 implying over 84 percent reduction.
Embedded in our business model is the passion to see the communities where we work grow and live better quality lives. This desire, which also is strongly considered by our BaBW strategy, guides all our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. We recap some of the CSR initiatives of 2019 here below.

Improving maternal and child health care
We contributed to the expansion and equipment of maternity and neonatology departments at the Gisenyi and Kacyiru hospitals with 160 million and 300 million respectively. The construction activities started in 2018 were completed in 2019. With the expanded capacity and quality of equipment, more mothers stand to receive better services, and lives of newborns in need of specialized care saved.

Reliable water supply for quality lives
In Kicukiro district of Kigali City, Bralirwa in partnership with local institutions supported 50,000 people to gain access to reliable water supply. Ensuring that water resources are protected and equitably shared is an ideal we continue to aspire to in our operations.

Access to decent shelter
As part of our corporate social responsibility, we contributed to the construction of 32 houses for elderly survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rugerero Sector of Rubavu district. In a similar endeavor to ensure access to decent shelter for families in need, we partnered with Kicukiro district, home to our Headquarters and Soft drinks plant to construct homes for two families.

Supporting access to quality education for a better future
In empowering and growing with our communities, access to quality education for the youngsters is central to unlocking potentials and breaking cycles of vulnerability. This year, we supported Ndera and Rwesero Secondary Schools with IT equipment for their technology laboratories to enable students gain hands-on experience of using these tools that essential for all workplaces of the 21st century.

Rural electrification
Rural households in Ndego Sector of Kayonza district near Bramin maize farm can now light and power their gadgets thanks to 448 solar powered units given by Bralirwa. Majority beneficiaries were women working on the farm.