Heineken Hungária looking to make beer consumption greener


Nikos Zois

Heineken Hungária has introduced a number of steps to make its operations greener in recent years ranging from phasing out single-use plastic cups to using local hops, the company told journalists at an event in Budapest this week.

In 2018, Heineken Hungária was the first company to launch a campaign to raise awareness among consumers about the importance of what they consume with their favorite beverages. The company was also the first large-scale brewery to remove PET bottles from its portfolio, saving the environment from 200 tonnes of plastic per year. From this year onwards, the company will only produce and distribute products in glass bottles, kegs, and endlessly recyclable aluminum cans. 

Recently appointed managing director Nikos Zois noted that he was very happy when he was offered a position at Heineken's Hungarian subsidiary, as it has a very good reputation within the group. However, this was not the only reason why he was excited about the appointment.

"The second reason is more personal. In 1986, Hungary was the first foreign country I ever visited," he noted, adding that Budapest is a "great city" with a "great cuisine". 

"Heineken aspires to be not only the world’s most innovative beer brewer, but the greenest one, too. We are positive that sustainable development and operation are the only way forward which, besides creating new workplaces and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, will make our brands even more appealing to consumers,” he said, adding that Hungary plays a pioneering role in this process.

The company has been decreasing its waste and plastic production since 2019. One of the key steps was to switch from using plastic cups to biodegradable paper cups from a Hungarian supplier, in recognition of consumer demand. In choosing the material for the paper cups that replaced plastic, the company aimed to not only minimize the environmental impact and buy from a domestic manufacturer, but also to ensure that consumers and partners have the beer drinking experience they are used to.  

Thanks to the unique design of the cup, which was specially designed for Heineken, the beer head fits comfortably on top of the drink and the space mark is clearly visible not only on the outside of the glass but also on the inside - which also helps bartenders.  The company is also aiming at educating consumers, with various sustainability-related information printed on the outside of the cups.

Heineken plans to introduce paper cups in 1,000 HoReCa units across the country. So far, 13,000 of the company's partners expressed their will to use the new paper cups. Based on the precontracts made, HoReCa units will soon receive nearly 3 million paper cups countrywide, of which 850,000 have already been delivered to about 450 partners of HEINEKEN Hungária. Thanks to the improved distribution system and more responsible waste management, the three million paper cups precontracted will be suitable to replace 10 million plastic cups.

In addition to its sustainability projects, Heineken Hungária has announced its “Press Prize” which will be awarded for the first time this year. The company is inviting journalists, bloggers and vloggers who make a great contribution to promoting responsible and sustainable gastronomy and catering to apply. For more information on the Press Awards, please visit: https://www.heinekenhungaria.hu/sajtoszoba/heineken-hungaria-sajtodij

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