Brewing a Better New Zealand is our business purpose and we believe that DB can be a positive force for change. Our purpose is underpinned by our three company values: respect for people and planet, passion for quality, and enjoyment of life. Through our business purpose and values, we are committed to leading in sustainability, growing our people and enabling their success and enjoyment of life, and brewing products that delight our consumers.

Our sustainability programme is led by our Managing Director, with responsibility for our focus areas shared across our executive team. The programme is coordinated by the Corporate Affairs function, which works closely with teams across the business to develop and implement our plans.

Focus area Responsible Functional Director
Brewing a safe and social drinking culture Corporate Affairs Director, Sales Director, Marketing Director, General Counsel and HR Director
Brewing lower carbon emissions Corporate Affairs Director, Supply Chain Director and Finance Director
Brewing with less water Supply Chain Director
Brewing a safe and healthy workforce HR Director
Brewing a sustainable value chain Supply Chain Director and Finance Director
Brewing prosperous communities Corporate Affairs Director

In 2019, we established a staff sustainability committee called The Brew Gooders, which is sponsored at executive level by the Corporate Affairs Director and Supply Chain Director. The committee plays a key role in helping to embed sustainability across the organisation. We believe that everyone can contribute to our sustainability goals, so we encourage our people to champion sustainability in whatever they do. 

Our approach is also informed by our parent company HEINEKEN and guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. HEINEKEN’s Brewing a Better World programme encompasses operations in more than 70 countries with over 85,000 employees. As part of a global company, we are in a special position to be able to collaborate, learn, and share knowledge with other HEINEKEN operating companies around the globe.

About our reporting

Our sustainability report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Core Option). This report covers our performance from 1 January to 31 December 2019. It covers the activity and impacts of DB Breweries’ main operating sites and sales offices, including: Waitemata Brewery, Tui Brewery, Monteith’s Brewery, DB Draught Brewery, Black Dog Brewing Company, Redwood Cidery and Tuatara Brewery. Unless stated otherwise, our reporting doesn’t include Joylab and Drinkworks.

Reliability and accuracy of data

We have processes governing the collection, review and validation of our non-financial data. This includes applying standardised definitions from HEINEKEN and involving subject matter experts to validate and challenge our data and processes. Where possible, standard or automated calculations and validity checks are built into our systems to minimise errors. Where we have concerns, we highlight them in the report. HEINEKEN’s internal audit function is involved in the annual review of the global non-financial reporting process, including reviewing the quality of control processes at various levels, data ownership and clarity of definitions.

Locally, DB’s 2019 carbon footprint has been externally verified by Toitu Envirocare. External assurance was not sought for our other 2019 disclosures.


We regularly review our material topics to understand what matters most to our stakeholders. The method for assessing the materiality of each topic follows GRI’s Materiality Principle, and in 2019, our materiality assessment was informed by: 

  • 15 stakeholder interviews with our people, customers, suppliers, industry groups, and government, media and community representatives 
  • internal and external data sources, such as our annual staff climate survey 
  •  benchmarking against external sustainability frameworks 
  • review of the reporting of our industry peers 
  • independent expert opinion

We also engage with our stakeholders during the year through a variety of channels and forums, such as industry group meetings and the relationships our teams have with suppliers and customers as part of day-to-day business operations.

Our material topics

Fostering a safe and social drinking culture remains our most material issue as in previous years. Reducing carbon emissions and climate impact also remains high, while product stewardship and packaging has increased in significance for our stakeholders since 2018.

The following topics are considered to be material for reporting in 2019, in order of priority:

Safe and social drinking culture

Promoting moderate drinking behaviours and social change through partnerships, campaigns, innovation in low-and-no alcohol beverages, product labelling and responsible marketing. Learn more here.

Carbon and climate impact

Managing our resources, including reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste from our operations, and working with our suppliers and customers to do the same. Learn more here.

Product stewardship and packaging

The end of life design and recyclability of our products and materials. Learn more here.

Water stewardship

Reducing our water consumption and managing the impact that our business has on water quality. Learn more here.

Safe and healthy workforce

The health, safety and wellbeing of our people and the people we do business with. Learn more here.

Sustainable value chain

Working with suppliers that meet our environmental and ethical sustainability standards and buying locally. Learn more here.

Employment practices

How we recruit, develop and retain our people. Learn more here.

Prosperous communities

Our direct and indirect contributions to local communities, including partnerships, sponsorship and philanthropy. Learn more here.

Economic impact and tax

Our direct and indirect economic contribution to the New Zealand economy. Learn more here.


Ensuring that we encourage biodiversity through use of good practice such as regenerative agriculture. Learn more here.