UGANDA – Nile Breweries Limited (NBL), the Ugandan subsidiary of AB InBev has partnered with the largest generator of energy in the country, Eskom Uganda and local council of Njeru municipality to plant trees along the banks of River Nile in commemoration of World Environment Day 2020.

Guided by this year’s United Nations theme, “Time for Nature” with a focus on the breakdown of nature and biodiversity, it will see the planting of some 3,000 trees over the next 6 weeks.

NBL believes planting the trees will not only relieve pressure on the environment, but also provides an opportunity to the company to consume clean energy that is cost-effective, reports The Observer.

This initiative collaborates the beer brewer’s undertaking of sustainable operations highlighting that at its plant in Mbarara, has improved from using 4.3 hectolitres of water to produce 1 hectolitre of beer to using 2.9 hectolitres of water.

According to George Mbogo, plant manager Mbarara, optimising the use of natural resources like water through internal management programs not only conserves the water resource but also maintains the good quality of the water resource.

“We work in partnership with communities where we are located at like the Rwizi catchment restoration committee to educate and conserve River Rwizi catchment,” he added. Last year, NBL donated Shs 505 million (US$135,000) towards the Rwizi project.

Mbogo highlighted that both the Mbarara and Jinja plants, promote the use of renewable energy through the use of biogas to power boilers and work towards reducing carbon footprint.

NBL’s immediate 2020 sustainability goals include smart agriculture where 100 per cent of direct farmers will be skilled, connected and financially empowered.

In addition to that, 100 per cent of communities in high-stress areas will have measurably improved water availability and quality.

Other goals include; 100 per cent of products will be in packaging that is returnable or made from majority recycled content.

The goals also aim that 100 per cent of purchased electricity will be from renewable sources and a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions across value chain (science-based).

So far up to 98 per cent of all NBL bi-product materials from its production process are recyclable and re-useable, an efficient use of natural resources.

“We have embraced waste segregation in all our operations, right from the source. We ensure employees and contractors are aware of the importance of recycling and clearly label the bins,” says Ashir Mori, plant manager Jinja.

Most prominent is the circular packaging practised at the plants from the glass bottles and paper labels.

“We use returnable glass and these bottles are properly sanitized for reuse thus can remain in circulation for 3-5 years. They are then crushed and fed back through the value chain to the manufacturer who uses the glass to produce more bottles. Likewise, the packaging and labelling are reused,” he said.

As part of the extended World Environment Day activities, NBL will continue to spread awareness on the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability amongst staff and communities on how to care for nature.

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

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