The desire to reduce our carbon footprint, while maximizing our positive impact, is as natural to us at Ursus Breweries as the ingredients in our beers.
As market leader we are committed to delivering our beers through responsible business practices: minimizing our environmental impact and enhancing livelihoods, both at work and in the communities where we operate. Throughout this report we have presented how we embarked in this journey, what goals we have, how we measure our performance and the progress we have made.
I would like to highlight that in 2020, Asahi Europe and International, which Ursus Breweries is part of, set ambitious sustainability goals, to drive positive impact on both the planet and people. The Sustainable Development Goals thus set the way we look ahead to the future and encompass carbon neutrality, reduction of water consumption, sustainable sourcing, circular packaging, inclusion and well-being of employees and consumers as well as empowerment for responsible choices.
We are proud to have embraced these goals and already make steps towards achievement. In the difficult context brought by the pandemic, the health and well-being of our employees was our first major concern. We had a short technical unemployment
period for some of our colleagues and compensated their income up to the monthly salary so their families are not affected.
With the same view, for our sales colleagues we diminished the activities involving direct contact, focusing on availability and flexibility in order to protect them.
Additionally, to support the effort of countering the pandemic, our brand Timișoreana partnered with Red Cross in the #separațidarîmpreună campaign, donating funds for medical equipment and promoting solidarity messages for all Romanians. Last but definitely not least, we supported our partners in HoReCa, the most affected economic players due to lockdown and restrictions, both by taking back their unsold stocks, and also by launching through our Brewers Association a communication campaign for this sector.
Coming back to the progress we make to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals, I am proud to share that our most iconic brand, Ursus, is leading on the sustainability path, with no PET primary packaging starting 2020. At the same time, our work for helping consumers to make responsible choices accelerated, and our portfolio of non-alcoholic drinks is consolidated with Cooler, Timișoreana non-alcohol and Ursus non-alcohol.
From farmers to consumers, we aim to lay the foundations for inclusive development, sustainable use of resources, care for our planet and responsible consumption. All these, combined with ingredients of joy, great taste and pride for our unique heritage, are stepping-stones for a legacy to be proud of.
President of Ursus Breweries
MESSAGE FROM THE CORPORATE
AFFAIRS VICE PRESIDENT
I’m glad we can introduce you to a new chapter in the Ursus Breweries sustainable journey. The years 2018-2020 marked for our company a series of achievements and progress in terms of sustainable development, which we are proud to be able to summarize in this report and to continue to accomplish them in our daily activity.
In 2020, we launched a solid sustainability strategy with two ambitious time limits – the first in 2030 and the second in 2050. As already mentioned in this report, the strategy is built on six pillars: neutral carbon footprint, water consumption reduction, sustainable resources and raw materials, inclusion and well-being of employees and consumers, circular packaging and, last but not least, responsible choices related to alcohol consumption. Each of these pillars is part of Ursus Breweries’ priorities and the company’s daily agenda.
We have made progress in all areas of our sustainability strategy and they are detailed in this report. Some of our achievements that we are most proud of are the reduction of water consumption to 2.76 HL/HL of beer produced and the development of our portfolio of non-alcoholic products. Also, throughout this period we continued to pay special attention to responsible alcohol consumption by harnessing the potential of the already known platform www.desprealcool.ro.
In this area we have continued to develop programs to prevent underage alcohol consumption, through partnerships with Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development and the Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations for Children (FONPC), as well as initiatives to discourage drinking and driving by developing the mobile application “Zero la Mie”, in partnership with the Romanian Police.
Moreover, we continued our commitment to the communities in which we operate, such as: building Ciucaș relaxation areas, where Romanians from local communities can gather in specially designed places for picnics; actions to protect the environment through selective collecting and recycling at major festivals in Romania such as Untold, Neversea and Oktoberfest; volunteering actions through which we invited our employees, despite the pandemic context, to plant trees individually etc. At the same time, in the difficult year 2020, we supported Romanians in the tough times caused by the pandemic and we reacted quickly to this unprecedented situation through our sponsoring initiative and, later, through Timișoreana fundraising campaign -#SeparatiDarImpreuna.
None of this could have been possible without the involvement of our colleagues at Ursus Breweries and we are grateful to them for their day-to-day work, no matter how cliché this statement may seem today. They are our true ambassadors of sustainability.
I invite you to read this report, which follows international GRI standards, to discover the entire journey of Ursus Breweries from our past recent years towards real sustainable development. Thank you for your trust, for the time given to read this report and please send us any suggestions – they are useful in supporting our work and will help us become, I hope, better, in a better Romania, together.
Corporate Affairs Vice Presidents
WHO WE ARE
Ursus Breweries SA is a closed joint-stock company and the largest beer producer in Romania. Our headquarter is located in Bucharest, Romania, 43 Soseaua Pipera, Floreasca Park, building A, 2nd floor, Sector 2.
The shareholders’ contributions to the company capital are as follows:
- Asahi Breweries Europe Ltd., a British private limited legal entity, registered with the Trade Register Office in England and Wales under no. 10609034/08.02.2017. It owns 4,443,728 shares, which represent 98.68% of the share capital; and
- other shareholders (Romanian natural persons and legal entities) owning 59,395 shares, representing 1.32% of the share capital.
We cover the entire Romanian territory.Outside the Romanian borders, Timișoreana is our brand ambassador. Our consumers are people above the minimum drinking age. In addition, we do business with the following types of customers: traditional trade, retail chains, companies across HoReCa, and entities such as corporate clients.
We operate 3 large breweries located in Buzău, Brașov and Timișoara, and one mini-production unit in Cluj-Napoca. As of 2020, our unit in Cluj-Napoca was upgraded to a craft brewery.
Together, we give life to joyful moments!
To be the most admired company, helping
create a better Romania.
Committed; Cooperative; Bold; Curious;
The General Assembly of the Shareholders
(GAS) is the supreme governing body of the Company. It is convened by the Board of Directors, comprising maximum 5 members, all appointed administrators elected by ordinary GAS. One of these members is appointed by GAS as President of the Board of Directors. Each member of the Board of Directors is responsible for carrying out the long-term vision and medium-term management policy in full accordance with Asahi Group’s Policies4. Moreover, at local level (i.e. our operations across Romania) the President of the Board of Directors is the head of the Executive Committee that ensures the business management locally. The Executive Committee is comprised of 8 Vice-Presidents of the company coordinating main strategic departments: Finance, Sales, Marketing, Corporate Affairs, Supply Chain, Technical, HR. At the local level (i.e. our operations across Romania), the percentage of senior management (i.e. members of the Executive Board) that were locally hired (Romanians) at the end of the reporting period was 36,9% (40% during the entire 2020; 37,5% in 2019; 33,3% in 2018). All members’ work location is in Romania.
During the 3-year reporting period, 100% of our brewery General Managers were Romanians. Two management systems and two additional Committees are in charge with or play a key role in the decision-making processes related to environmental, social and economic matters: • Ethics Committee, which aims at keeping employees informed about the Corporate Ethics Regulation and the Corporate Ethics Guidelines • Internal Audit Ursus Breweries has in place a fully-fledged internal control system that works to enhance corporate governance and maintain a harmonious development together with our
stakeholders. • Employees Unions • Pandemic Crisis Committee, that was fully functional throughout the entire state of emergency and would cease its operation once the Covid-related restrictions are over.
We are actively present and work along partners in the following initiatives:
Ursus Breweries is a member of the following associations:
- Brewers of Romania Association
- The Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
- The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce (BRCC)
- The Romanian–German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK)
- Foreign Investors Council (FIC)
- The Romanian Association of Packaging and Environment (ARAM)
- The Romanian Food Industry Employers’ Federation
- Employers Organization of Romanian Hotels and Restaurants (HORA)
- Romanian Advertising Council (RAC)
- International Advertising Association Romania (IAA)
- The Employers’ Confederation Concordia (through Brewers of Romania Association)
MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
At the time of the report launch in 2021
Paul Simon Barnett
Ursus Breweries President
Marketing Vice President
HR Vice President
Finance Vice President
Supply Chain Vice President
Sales Vice President
Technical Vice President
Corporate Affairs Vice President
MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
During the period covered by the report 2018-2020
Finance Vice President
Technical Vice President
Sales Vice President
Supply Chain Vice President
Marketing Vice President
Corporate Affairs Vice President
HR Vice President
Dragoș Contantinescu, February ’19 – May ‘21
Igor Thikonov, January ’14 – October ‘18
Lorant Kovacs, July ‘20 – August ’21
Claudiu Fuiorea, May ’15 – July ’20
Guy Van Geel, February ’19 – July ‘21
Sorin Harabagiu, April ’18 – February ’19
Tiarnan Ó hAimhirgín, June ’16 – April ‘21
Marek Dvorak, February ’19 – March ’21
Mihai Bârsan, April ’14 – December ‘18
Kenney Robert Victor, August 15’ – May ‘18
HOW WE OPERATE
INTERNAL ETHICS POLICIES
We have a zero-tolerance policy on bribery and corruption. Our transparency framework and substantial information on our anti-corruption policies, including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as the Anti-Bribery Policy and the Gifts and Entertainment Policy that supplement it, are available to all our staff via the internal platform.
Our whistle-blowing policy is constantly communicated within the organization, giving all employees the opportunity to make confidential disclosures on suspected impropriety or wrongdoing. The contact information our employees can use are displayed in all our locations.
OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Handling of incoming goods, production, the inter-depot movement, warehouse operations, customer supply and consumer are the six pillars of our value chain, which maintained its structure presented in our previous sustainability report.
However, as of 2018 we have a new warehouse in Cluj-Napoca, which is an A-class building. Two additional depots became operational in 2020, one in Buzău and the other in Timișoara. Also, in 2020 we closed a buffer depot in Buzău. In the same year, we finalized the transition from gas forklifts to electric ones. As of October 2020, all operations (production and warehousing) are performed with electric equipment.
Our risk management system is placed at the core of our management policies, and is based on fundamentals that enable us to improve both strategic planning and decision-making process. We are certified against the requirements of the following management system standards: ISO14001, OHSAS18001, ISO9001, ISO22000, and ISO50001.
In order to identify and evaluate key risks and plan early responses, each department conducts risk assessments that are further discussed in committees and board meetings.
Internal audits are performed annually by certified internal auditors. External surveillance audits are performed also annually by accredited bodies. As required, recertification audits are performed every three years. Regular drills and continuous training are key components in preventing any risks of environmental incidents.
Local brands: Ursus, Timișoreana, Ciucaș, Stejar, Azuga.
International brands: Pilsner Urquell, Asahi Super Dry, Meantime, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch, Efes, St. Stefanus, Kingswood, B-life.
OUR CORPORATE SUSTAINABLE
We work very hard today, focus on a better tomorrow, and set our standards high. It comes with the taste of our beverages, but also with how we act as a company.
We believe that our legacy is not only in the joy we create with our drinks. It is also about the people we work with: the consumers who drink our beers; the farmers; even the planet itself. Only positive impact on all of those combined can make a legacy we can be proud of.
The gifts of nature are essential to brew great tasting beer, so we are committed to run our business in harmony with nature. Not only for us, but also for generations that come after us.
Legacy 2030, our sustainable development strategy, focuses on our pillars: Planet, People, Portfolio and Profit.
We are living in one of the most important decades to determine our future. If there ever was the time to act, it is now. And we understand things will not start moving on their own. As always, leaders need to lead. Being leaders in most of the markets where we operate, we believe we need to lead by
We have already started. We’ve moved sustainability into the core of our strategy and plan to accelerate our efforts as we move on. Doing both big things and lots of smaller things.
Through our actions, we contribute to the UN Sustainability Development Goals, focusing on the areas where we can make an impact, utilizing our scale, supply chain or partnerships.
Sustainability is more than ever creating people to people connections, provided we keep our minds open and our focus on reducing negative impacts to maximize the positive ones. Transparency, on the other hand, sustainability reporting in particular, is an exercise that keeps us connected with our stakeholders. We listen to them, we care for their expectations, we collect inputs, we develop joint initiatives, and we report back to them.
In the past, we’ve focused mainly on the activities within our brewery walls. What we are facing now is bigger than us. We can do our part, but we also understand more the need to engage with other partners, our suppliers and customers, to serve a
greater good. Building on what BEER has been doing for centuries – bringing people together.
BEER is what defines what we do, therefore we matched the four sustainable development strategic pillars with the four areas that define what we do:
To provide full and transparent access to Legacy 2030, our corporate sustainable development strategy, we invite you to read it through by clicking on this link and acquaint yourself with a series of goals that when met will make us proud of.
DEFINING THE CONTENT
OF THIS REPORT
There is one single way to be in touch with the market, business partners, policy makers, NGOs or any other stakeholder: transparency and constant engagement.
We are present in a number of initiatives and members in various associations (see details in the Leadership section), where we interact pro-actively with all stakeholder categories as described in our previous report. Although our reporting process was paused for good and significant reasons, our interactions with stakeholders did not suffer.
Our interest in the wellbeing and work satisfaction of our employees was higher than ever, and this is reflected in our employee surveys, that are now performed both locally and group-wise (see details in the Employee section).
The relationships with our union representatives continued to be close, with health and safety, staff development, employee benefits, employee training, and more recently Covid-protection ranking high among the topics discussed.
Legislation, especially in terms of sustainable development in general, and environmental protection, packaging and waste in particular was a topic of concern in our regular business meetings, where our presence indicated both high interest and appropriate support.
As a beer producer, we know that our consumers need to be aware of the quality of our products, what ingredients we use, the benefits as well as the limitations of alcohol consumption.
Therefore, we continued to cooperate with social actors such as NGOs, consumer protection entities and marketing supervision bodies.
Apart of our regular efforts, for the purpose of the development of the present report we conducted a consultative process. It was built on the results of all major encounters mentioned above, doubled by one-on-one interviews with a small number of stakeholders. Given the recent online fatigue and excessive exposure to online surveys, instead of risking to register a very low response rate, we focused on qualitative interactions.
We are grateful to all 20 proficient stakeholders representing the most significant groups:
• representatives of critical business departments in Ursus Breweries such as health, quality and employee safety; HR; procurement; internal audit; technical; trade union; sustainable development, plus a procurement representative of the Asahi Group.
• local authorities (one mayor), NGOs, packaging suppliers, transport suppliers, distributor, retailers, academia, and marketing promoter.
There was a significant gap in our reporting practice, we are aware of that. Therefore, to update ourselves on what’s new in terms of international legislation, various reporting frameworks and methodologies, and best practices across our industry, we conducted a benchmarking and gap analysis.
Another step in the process was to look into the future by checking our business processes against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new environmental policies at the EU level (the European Green Deal, Fit for 55, the underdevelopment Directives such as the supply chain and the sustainability reporting acts) and the Romanian Sustainable Development Strategy.
Our first sustainable development report was published in 2013, followed by annual reports. Given the major changes Ursus Breweries had gone through from the 2017-2018 reporting cycle onwards, we decided to cease the reporting and focus on the strategic and operational management.
However, sustainable development continued to be a priority: our performance was constantly monitored and reported internally against sustainability goals; our management implemented initiatives aimed at assessing, monitoring and reducing negative impacts; our sustainable development teams worked hard to translate the Asahi Group’s vision into local targets and specific measures.
As our sustainable development strategy is still unfolding, we consider that a biennial reporting cycle would both serve the expectations of our stakeholders, and would allow us to adapt our data management systems to the new sustainability reporting requirements.
Nonetheless, we fully complied with the new non-financial reporting legislation. All those interested in discovering how the major environmental and social aspects were managed in our company over the past two years (2019 and 2020), are invited to read through our annual non-financial statements. From now on and until the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive enters into force, we will publish sustainability reports on a 2-year basis.
The structure of this report defines us and our activity, and is unique across our industry: BEER. It is fully aligned with our four pillars of the sustainable development strategy (Profit = Business, People = Employees, Planet = Environment, Responsibility = Portfolio). We make BEER.
This is our 6th sustainable development report and, as always, we have extensively engaged our stakeholders, giving them an open floor for expressing their views and expectations, paying attention to both risks and opportunities, and reporting back to them on how we plan to implement their recommendations.
The main purpose of this document is to update Ursus Breweries’ stakeholders on how we continued to manage sustainability in the past years, and take responsibility over our economic, social and environmental impacts. Developed in accordance with the GRI Standards, Core option, the report covers the activities of Ursus Breweries headquarters in Bucharest, our breweries in Buzău, Brașov in Timișoara, as well as the craft brewery in Cluj-Napoca.
We are committed to running our business in harmony with nature not only for us, but for the generations that come after us, thus playing our role in meeting the Sustainability Legacy 2030, the sustainable development roadmap of Asahi in Europe.
This report presents the performance of Ursus Breweries’ management team and the actions towards sustainable development taken from January 1st, 2018 to December 31st, 2020. Where relevant, we have referred to initiatives developed in 2021. Such mentions are clearly indicated.
For comparability reasons, we include a link to our last sustainability report covering 2016 and 2017.
This report has been prepared following the requirements outlines by the GRI, In accordance – Core option.
The stakeholder consultation process was developed based on AccountAbility’s AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard.
Where appropriate, we also refer to ISO Standards and other internal or international methodologies.
The present report has been developed by Ursus Breweries SA management team who has been assisted by CSR BootIQ, a Romanian-based consultancy highly experienced in sustainability reporting.
We would also like to honour every single Ursus Breweries employee. Their daily contribution makes our company better every day and substantially influences Ursus Breweries sustainability performance.
We would like to praise our stakeholders for their contribution, active participation and constructive feedback. Their inputs were instrumental in defining the content of this report.
Ursus Breweries project team:
Robert Uzună, VicePresident Corporate Affairs
Alina Cişmaş, Sustainable Development Manager
Ioana Stoica, Sustainable Development Specialist