Our Sustainability Approach
A focus on three key pillars
Our sustainability approach aims to strengthen the resilience of the communities in which we operate, champion responsible use of our products and ensures our environmental legacy has a positive impact now and for future generations.
Lion was built from the ground up on the strength of cherished local brands.
At Lion, we believe in doing the right thing for the long term, and that includes giving back to our communities, either as a company, as a brand, or as individuals, across Australia and New Zealand.
To show our commitment to this we have committed publicly to continuing to positively impact young people through our Lion-funded Community Investment Program, and also to increase the number of volunteering hours contributed by our people. To help us do that we have various programs and initiatives, which we have now brought together under one umbrella brand of LionHearts, to make it easier to understand.
Lion’s Reconciliation Action Plan
At Lion, we are committed to inclusion, diversity and doing the right thing for the long term. We are about championing sociability and living well for all Australians. Lion’s commitment to inclusion and reconciliation is at the heart of our first RAP – the first step on our reconciliation journey. The best way to drive change, social justice and equality is for the whole community to get onboard – and we want to be part of this.
Our first RAP is a Reflect RAP, the focus is on building knowledge, capability and a lot of listening. As we move through the next stages of RAP, we will be asked to set out more specific targets and initiatives. This will be our Innovate RAP and we will start planning for this in late 2021.
To learn more about Lion’s Reflect RAP, please click here.
Supporting Our Communities
Our Community Investment Strategy comprises four key areas of impact – reflective of our core purpose of championing sociability and living well, and collective passions, and motivating our employee engagement.
The four focus areas of impact include strategic community partnerships (Gotcha4Life and Graeme Dingle Foundation), brands and communities, workplace giving and volunteering, and response and relief initiatives in the communities in which we operate.
Gotcha4Life is Australia’s leading mental fitness charity, working to end suicide by delivering presentations, workshops and sustainable training programs that create meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle and strengthen social connection in local communities.
Gotcha4Life focuses on the power of prevention through connection because we are all stronger, together.
For more information go to https://www.gotcha4life.org/
The Graeme Dingle Foundation
The Graeme Dingle Foundation in New Zealand offers a schools-based program for kids proven to improve their personal and social skills and self-esteem for many years to come. Through Lion’s investment, the Graeme Dingle Foundation is expanding its Kiwi Can program to over 1,000 more kids in South East Auckland, improving their social connectedness, relationships, resilience, behaviours and academic attitudes and engagement.
For more information go to http://www.dinglefoundation.org.nz/
Helping fire victims rebuild their lives
In January 2020, Lion contributed over $1.2 million through various relief charities to support victims of the devastating Australian bushfires. As a company, Lion was proud to be able to offer its support, but also worked with our partners and customers to assist in giving patrons the opportunity to simply turn up to our bars, taphouses, and restaurants and make a contribution. A one-off workplace giving initiative raised $64,000 which was donated to our workplace giving partner Australian Red Cross.
Fostering women in global leadership
To celebrate International Women’s Day in 2020, the brew team at Little Creatures Fremantle produced an IWD Ale, with the proceeds directed to a $25,000 scholarship with Homeward Bound.
Homeward Bound are a not-for-profit with a mission to nurture the talent of female leaders in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) to make the world a better place. The scholarship recipient was awarded to Dr Philista Malaki, a research scientist at the National Museums of Kenya.
Giving at Lion
Workplace Giving at Lion is an easy way to support our community. Lion has ten Workplace Giving partners in Australia and New Zealand – 20 in total. Our people have the opportunity to support each of these organisations and contribute to a social cause that resonates strongly with them. Lion matches donations dollar-for-dollar to a capped amount - doubling the benefit to the chosen community organisation.
Lion’s Social Impact Report
Lion adopted the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) framework in early 2020, to measure our positive impact within the communities in which we operate, and to enable us to better understand the difference our contributions can make within society.
The LBG is a robust, internationally recognised framework that allows us to measure the impact of our activities within the community through three pillars: Inputs, Outputs, and Impacts. By capturing our inputs (what is contributed), our outputs (what happens) we can over time demonstrate our impact (what changes). This report takes a short look at how we have applied the LBG framework over our financial year 2019.
To learn more, download the report.
Little Creatures Supporting GIVIT
Little Creatures believes in doing little things that make a big difference to the community. To celebrate their 20th birthday, Little Creatures donated $20,000 to GIVIT’s COVID-19 Appeal. 100% of the money will go towards household items for people experiencing hardship to help them through this difficult time. GIVIT is the smart way to give to people and communities in need. It is a web platform that gives people and communities impacted by hardship access to essential items when they need them most.
Our environmental approach is governed by the simple mantra of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’.
As a large manufacturer and purchaser of agricultural goods, our priorities are reducing our water and energy usage and waste. We set clear public targets in our 2019 Environment Report and hold ourselves accountable to continual improvement.
Water is our most important resource, whether as a direct ingredient in our beer or as sustenance for crops of barley and hops.
We’re proud to be a leader in water management, bringing world-class standards into our breweries and in many cases exceeding them. We’re working hard to achieve ambitious targets to further improve our water efficiency through investment in new, more efficient breweries and finding better ways to do things through the practical, day-to-day decisions made by our people.
We are also constantly looking up and down our supply chain for ways we can work with our partners to reduce our collective water footprint
Energy & Carbon
We see energy efficiency and carbon reduction as a fundamental responsibility of any business, and we continue to make great progress reducing our own energy use and associated emissions.
In 2020 our Australian operations became the country’s first certified large-scale carbon neutral brewer, and as part of our Energy Optimisation Program, we aim to brew all of our beers using 100% renewable electricity by 2025. In 2021 Lion New Zealand became the country’s first large-scale beverage company to be Toitū carbonzero certified. And in the US, New Belgium has committed to eliminating carbon emissions by 2030, and as far back as 1999 was the first American brewery to source its electricity completely from wind power. Our US wineries are all powered by sustainable energy sources.
Modernisation of our manufacturing sites, including multi-million dollar investments in new, more efficient facilities, is also playing a key role in improving our overall energy efficiency.
Beyond the gates of our breweries, we measure emissions up and down the supply chain and we work with our partners to mitigate the carbon footprint of the inputs we buy and the journey to the point of purchase.
Waste and Packaging
For more than 20 years, we have invested to improve our packaging, worked to reduce litter and increase the recycling of our bottles and cans. Advances in technology mean that one of our end goals is now in sight: making 100% of our consumer packaging recyclable by 2025.
In the same time frame, we aim to ensure that our packaging is made from at least 50 per cent recycled content. Lion commenced the process of phasing out plastic rings in its beer packaging in 2010, with the last of the Lion-owned products transitioned in 2016. 75% of waste produced by our US wineries is recycled. In early 2014, our craft brand Fourpure in the UK was the first craft brewery to can their full core range. Through this action and other ongoing actions we have been able to reduce the fuel we use to ship both our raw materials, as well as our finished product.
While beverage containers already enjoy a strong return rate when compared to other packaging types, we remain committed to further improvements in return and reuse rates and litter reduction.
As part of our commitment to recycling, Lion is proud to support cost efficient container deposit schemes. Our involvement in Australian container deposit schemes stretches back 40 years and we have helped deliver schemes in South Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
Key to improving environmental outcomes is ensuring as many returned containers as possible are actually recycled. Currently, many go to landfill because there is no economically viable reuse option.
We’ve been working with our industry partners and community groups to explore further improvements, including via the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, which has played a key role in improving environmental outcomes over the past two decades.
In 2021, we pledged to dramatically reduce the two largest sources of plastic in our packaging – plastic shrink-wrap and plastic labels on beer bottles. The decision will remove more than 630 tonnes of plastic per year from circulation – keeping it out of landfill and away from our oceans.
GOAL #1: Remove plastic shrink-wrap from our beer packaging across Australia within the next two years. The use of shrink-wrap around six-packs of cans, as an example, will cease completely by the end of this year, with stubbies and long necks to follow. All plastic shrink wrap will be eliminated completely by the end of 2023. New Zealand is already shrink-wrap free.
GOAL #2: Transition away from plastic labels on bottles in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the decade. We will replace them with sustainable alternatives such as biodegradable labels or paper alternatives.
Environmental and Sustainability Memberships
Lion is proud to be a member of a number of organisations that work to promote positive environmental outcomes and sustainable business practices.
Our products are a valued part of the social life of millions of people across the globe, and as such we have an important role in to play in supporting healthy choices around drinking. Through our growing portfolio of lower alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages and consumer education programs, we aim to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol, giving people more information and more choices and helping to facilitate the various needs and drinking occasions of our consumers.
Tackling alcohol misuse requires a whole-of-community effort to drive a positive social environment and drinking culture. We will continue to play a market-leading role in innovation across the lower alcohol category, and continue to invest in non-alcoholic alternatives to ensure we provide options to suit the evolving social environment.
Modern Slavery Statement
At Lion, our core purpose is to champion sociability and live well. Our sustainability approach aims to strengthen the resilience of the communities in which we operate, champion responsible use of our products, and ensures our environmental legacy has a positive impact now and for future generations.
We recognise human rights as a fundamental principle underpinning all our business activities and understand the potential human rights impacts of our own operations and supply chain. We commit to taking appropriate action to uphold respect for human rights.
Lion’s 2020 Modern Slavery Statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act, 2015 (UK) and the Australian (Commonwealth) Modern Slavery Act 2018.
Drinking for the
The ethos of quality over quantity is increasingly reflected in modern drinking patterns. Our products reflect the full range of options available to the contemporary beer drinker, from traditional lagers through to the cutting edge of craft brewing, and we invest in marketing programs which encourage consumers to savour the taste of our products rather than drink for effect.
We also produce a discerning portfolio of premium wine and spirits brands that are created to be savoured.
We work with local representative bodies to champion our industry and its positive economic and social contributions, while also playing a constructive role in the debate about how to encourage a positive drinking culture in the community.
We aim to provide our consumers with all the information they need to make better choices about their alcohol consumption. In Australia and New Zealand, we partner with the lead organisations and initiatives tackling alcohol misuse and its underlying causes:
Alcohol&Me was developed by Lion in New Zealand and has been running for over 7 years. It is a highly interactive and informative programme that provides information and real world tools to help people make smarter decisions about drinking.
Cheers! New Zealand
Cheers! is a social change initiative to create a healthier, safer and more responsible drinking culture in New Zealand. It offers real advice and information to help people make better choices about their drinking. Lion is a founding member and major sponsor of this industry-led organisation. For more information go to cheers.org.nz
Established in 2005 by Lion and its industry partners, DrinkWise Australia is an independent not-for-profit organisation aiming to bring about a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia. Lion contributes more than a million dollars annually to DrinkWise’s national information and education campaigns. For more information go to drinkwise.org.au
Responsible practices & codes of behaviour
Lion aspires to set the standard for good corporate citizenship within our industry.
Our businesses contribute significantly to their local economies and are often major employers in their region. We work to ensure that these contributions are complemented by full compliance and transparency in relation to our tax obligations in each jurisdiction. These are table stakes for any responsible business.
Lion is a signatory to the Tax Transparency Code and the Supplier Payment Code developed by the Business Council of Australia.
Lion also has a Responsible Sourcing Code, which can be viewed here.