Lion launches Sustainability Report

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Lion has released its 2021 sustainability report, demonstrating its progress against a series of ambitious targets for the year 2030, and a reshaped sustainability strategy guided by an Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) framework.

Key sustainability achievements outlined in the 2021 report include:

  • A 28% reduction in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from a 2019 baseline – progressing well towards the science-based target of a 55% reduction by 2030;
  • Lion’s packaging now includes over 52% recycled content, beating the APCO set target of 50% by 2025 by four years;
  • New Zealand’s first net carbon zero, alcohol-free beer, Steinlager Zero, launched;
  • The launch of Australia’s first carbon neutral, alcohol-free beer, XXXX ZERO;
  • Setting new gender balance targets of 40/40/20 to ensure visible diversity at a team level to drive creativity and innovation;
  • An updated Responsible Marketing Policy for Australia and New Zealand, reconfirming our commitment to consistently high standards, driving activity in the marketplace that is ethical, aligned with community standards, and promotes positive social norms and responsible consumption across all our businesses;
  • 47,101 Alcohol&Me online modules completed in New Zealand against a target of 36,000 – to date Alcohol&Me has educated around 300,000 New Zealanders about responsible consumption;
  • The rollout of Gotcha4Life mental resilience training to more than a quarter of Australian employees and launched as an offering for Lion’s customers at the Armatree Hotel in regional NSW; and
  • The launch of Lion’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan in Australia.

Lion’s Group General Counsel and Head of External Relations and Sustainability Libby Davidson said being a Force for Good means always striving for better, but also being realistic and transparent about targets to build trust among Lion’s people and external stakeholders.

“By moving from the three pillars of community, environment, responsibility to the more commonly used ESG framework, Lion has aimed for greater transparency against the growing number of businesses choosing to anchor their sustainability strategies to these three key areas,” Davidson said.

“We want to demonstrate brave and enduring environmental leadership, create long-term positive social impact, and strengthen and safeguard our governance – underpinning our core purpose of championing sociability and helping people to live well.”

Lion remains committed to phasing out plastic shrink wrap in its secondary packaging in Australia as quickly as possible, however due to global supply chain disruptions and an increase in demand for paper board, it has shifted its target date for this initiative from the end of 2023 to the end of 2025. New Zealand is already shrink-wrap free.

“While we always use the launch of our sustainability report to celebrate our successes and progress, we cannot ignore the fact that it was another challenging year for our business and the industry more broadly, and so we have also taken the opportunity to reset our plastic pledge,” Davidson added.

“We are absolutely focused on ensuring we tread lightly and minimise our environmental impact as a brewer, we need more time to meet this target, ensuring other packaging options are commercially viable.

“Technological advancements in this field are happening at pace, and this adjusted target date will allow us more time to investigate solutions that may end up being more environmentally-friendly in the long run.

“Importantly, we were still able to phase out plastic shrink wrap in secondary packaging for our cans in 2021.”

Over 97% of Lion’s packaging is now recyclable, and as well as continuing to work towards eliminating single-use plastics in its packaging, the brewer’s three-year focus is on carbon reduction in the value chain, water stewardship, driving the circular economy, and waste reduction in general.

2021 was another landmark year for Lion’s Inclusion and Diversity journey, with a new sponsorship deal making Little Creatures the official beer of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras including Sydney World Pride 2023.

To learn more about Lion’s Sustainability initiatives and highlights across 2021, please click here to read the report.

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