…Commitment To Environmental Sustainability
International Breweries Plc (IBPLC), a member of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer has been commended by its stakeholders for coordinating its brewery operations in line with best practices and focus on its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda.
Stakeholders, comprising regulatory authorities, government representatives, media, and community members expressed these during a facility tour of the company’s Gateway Plant in Ogun State.
The plant is the biggest brewery in sub-Saharan Africa which has a substantive solar mix for its energy use as part of its Climate Action programmes.
The Gateway Plant Manager, Akintayo Oguntunde who took the regulators around the facility explained that “IBPLC has invested a lot of human and financial resources in our organisation across the country to ensure we run our business in a sustainable manner with minimal or no negative impact on the environment.”
He explained that “some of our company’s environmental efforts include the efficient treatment of our effluents, the use of bio-gas from our by-products as well as liquified natural gas to power our boilers. On waste management, we demonstrate strict adherence to waste segregation, recycling of our bottles and by-product recycling. We also recently launched our eco-trucks where we use gas-powered delivery trucks with reduced carbon footprint.”
In his remarks, the Brewery Operations Director, IBPLC, Tony Agah, noted that the company’s focus on the environment is further demonstrated through the multi-layered structures it has on ground at the plant, regional, zone and global levels.
“We share operations’ best practices, and we invest in the best technology. Our structures are backed up with training to make sure the people running our environmental systems are competent,” he said.
Agah, who conducted the stakeholders around the company’s state-of-the-art Biological Treatment System (BTS) otherwise known as the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) informed that the company’s system enables it to treat all effluents coming from the brewery processes in line with regulatory standards. Our discharged waters are rigorously treated making it non-toxic”.
Thanking the regulatory stakeholders, he said: “We appreciate the commendations, advisories and other comments we’ve received from the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA) teams who honored us with their presence on this tour.
We assure you, we will continue to deploy technology to back up our operations so we can continue to scale up on positive impact to the environment. We believe in partnering, as you can offer advice to assist us on the right path. We have also identified areas where we can improve and work together to achieve a more sustainable environment”.
While highlighting the company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Temitope Oguntokun explained that one of the core values of the company globally is to make sure its operations bring benefits and prosperity to the communities where it operates.
“CSR and sustainability have always been at the core of IBPLC’s ethos because we believe that we thrive when our communities thrive”.
Relating some of the company’s socio-economic interventions, Oguntokun said,
“Eight young entrepreneurs from the plant’s host communities have received a total grant of 11.6 million Naira from its Kickstart entrepreneurship programme, in addition to business training and mentorship.”
She added that, over time, the company had installed four boreholes in different parts of the community as part of its water stewardship to enhance water supply in the community and improve sanitation.
According to her, IBPLC also delivered a rural electrification/economy-boosting project to Bara community and environs through the provision of a 300KVA ONAN oil-immersed step-down transformer, 415V overhead distribution line and other ancillaries.
Speaking further, Oguntokun stated that IBPLC continues to engage with communities to address their needs through sustainable stakeholder mapping and needs assessment process to guide the company’s social intervention decisions.
Delivering his remarks, the Vice-Chairman of Obafemi Owode Local Government, Babatunde Olusesi Titus commended IBPLC for investing in the LG and the consistent support it has rendered to communities.
“We have already noticed that you are doing well in employment and CSR activities. It pleases and amazes us as a local government to see what you have contributed to the community.
“We are delighted about your contributions and would like to explore more partnerships with International Breweries. With what we have seen, the Local Government is proud of you. We commend you for investing here.”
A community leader and Asiwaju of Orile Imo, Chief Olakunle Olalekan in his remarks said: Your Company has done a lot to empower the people of the community and also improve the facilities in our community.
The presence of IBPLC has encouraged other companies to take the bold step in coming to invest in the community as they all want to be next to IBPLC. We just pray for IBPLC to be stronger so they can execute more CSR projects in our community.”
In his remarks, Kehinde Adeoso, General Secretary of Imo Descendants Association (IDA) opined that his “overall assessment of International Breweries CSR projects is that it has been a blessing to the community, and I will appreciate if the company will keep sustaining the preference for host community in future selection of candidates.”
He further narrated that “a number of youths from our community have benefited so far from the kickstart programme and this has actually served as empowerment for our youths within the locality”.