Better Together: Meet the Environmental Leaders Committed to Sustainability Innovation in the Beverage Sector

August 29, 2019 | BIER

BIER members from the latest BIER meeting
As Helen Keller so famously said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Since our inception in 2006, the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) has stayed true to this founding concept, with global beverage brands setting competition aside and coming together as an industry to advance environmental sustainability and value.

Together, we’ve tackled water stewardship by developing a living framework to guide beverage companies’ strategies, benchmarking studies, and toolkits. We’ve developed ever-evolving guidance for GHG emissions reporting, mapped the carbon footprints of common beverage types, and achieved major improvements in energy intensity. We’ve made a collective commitment to fight climate change and taken action. And we’re collaborating with regional, national, and worldwide organizations such as the Kentucky Distillers Association, CDP, CEO Water Mandate, and TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) to empower all companies to make meaningful change for their businesses and the world.

And we’re just getting started.

With the participation of nearly 60 environmental leaders from 17 beverage companies, consultancies, and associations, we’re focused on shaping the sustainable future of the beverage industry—and beyond.

Our respective working groups are engaged in innovative projects, from working to enhance local water data access through basin collaborations to developing a future-focused roadmap for better carbon management.

Who are these environmental leaders taking collaborative action? Let us introduce you.

Meet Our Environmental Leaders & Member Brands

ABInBev

ABInBev is one of BIER’s founding member companies, and like every member, they bring incredibly experienced and insightful environmental experts to the table.

Representing ABInBev on BIER’s Steering Committee, co-leading the Water working group, and serving within the Benchmarking, Energy & Climate Change, and Technology working groups, is Global Director of Water Sustainability Andre Fourie. Andre has spent more than a decade doing sustainability work in the beverage industry, with an emphasis on implementing leading water stewardship principles and best practices.

In addition, Ezgi Barcenas, Global Vice President of Sustainability; Juan Rodriguez, Global Director of Environment and Safety; Elisabeth Conrad, Global Director of Sustainable Brands and Innovation; Molly Conroy, Global Director of Reputation and Better World Communications; and Virginia Covo Naranjo, Global Director of Sustainability Supply Chain, round out BIER’s ABInBev team, with members working across all working groups.

American Beverage Association

The American Beverage Association (ABA) has been a beverage industry presence for nearly 100 years. And Kate Krebs, ABA’s Senior Environmental Policy Advisor, has been in the sustainability scene for nearly four decades—spending the last six and a half years with ABA.

As part of the BIER coalition, Kate brings her expertise to the Steering Committee, Water, and Public Relations & Communications working groups. Recognized as a visionary environmental leader, she provides invaluable insight from ABA’s environmental policy and technical work in the beverage industry. She also serves as a source of BIER best practice wisdom and program knowledge for ABA’s member beverage companies.

Bacardi Limited

Bacardi Limited is an iconic, family-owned company with a presence in more than 170 markets worldwide—which gives their Global Sustainability Director, Julio Torruella, wide-ranging insight in his 10-plus years leading Bacardi’s environmental sustainability initiatives.

As a BIER collaborator, he lends his technical focus and insight to several BIER working groups, including Water, Technology, and Benchmarking, as well as serving on the BIER Steering Committee. In addition, Julio co-facilitated our first Latin America Water Forum in 2017.

Also representing Bacardi’s knowledge and efforts within BIER, Jessica Merz, Bacardi’s Director of Global Corporate Communications, brings nearly two decades of communications and media experience to the Public Relations & Communications working group.

Beam Suntory

Sustainability and responsibility are key to Beam Suntory’s business philosophy. The company joined BIER shortly after our 2006 launch, and Rick Price has been a constant presence ever since.

With a background in scientific research, engineering, and operations, Rick has been with Beam Suntory since 1997, holding several EHS positions over the years. He is currently the Director of Global Environment, Health and Safety. In addition to his role on BIER’s Steering Committee, he lends his expertise to our Water and Benchmarking working groups, and he serves as the communication liaison for connecting his EHS counterparts at the Suntory corporate headquarters in Japan.

Rick is joined by several Beam Suntory colleagues, including sustainability leaders Takenobu Shiina and Gani Slimane, and CSR communications gurus Emily Bryson York and Christine Newton.

Brown-Forman

Brown-Forman’s operations and markets span the globe—and the collective environmental expertise of their BIER representatives spans more than 120 years.

Andy Battjes, Director of EH&S, represents his company and fellow cohorts on the Steering Committee. He’s also co-leader for the Water working group, as well as a valued contributor to the Energy & Climate and Benchmarking working groups. A leadership presence within BIER since Brown-Forman joined shortly after BIER’s inception, Andy has played a pivotal role in building the foundation of BIER’s performance in watershed context efforts.

Other Brown-Forman environmental leaders who are an integral part of BIER include: Corden Porter, Environmental Performance and Safety Manager; Dan Naes, Director of Distillery Operations; Suzette Carty, Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability; Jennifer O’Neil, Corporate Communications and Reporting Manager; Rachel Nally, Environmental Senior Specialist; and Rob Frederick, Vice President and Director of Corporate Brand and Communications.

Carlsberg Group

Like all our member companies, Carlsberg Group has ambitious sustainability aspirations – having launched their new program vision “Together Toward ZERO” in 2017. The company joined BIER in 2009 and Eskild Andersen has been with us ever since.

Eskild has been working in the food and beverage sector for two decades, spending the majority of his tenure with Carlsberg Group. Today, he’s the company’s Group Environmental Manager and serves as the Steering Committee representative to BIER. He also lends his insights to BIER’s Energy & Climate Change and Benchmarking working groups.

Other Carlsberg Group representatives are Adam Pawelas, Sustainability Director of Integrated Supply Chain, and Sam Wainwright, Manager of Global Digital Media and Sustainability.

Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands, like all our member companies, has an unwavering commitment to sustainability and responsibility—something that fuels their representatives’ work within BIER.

Last year, we welcomed two new faces from Constellation Brands: Luis Julián Hernandez, EHS and Compliance Director, and Leticia Acosta, Senior Corporate Manager of Global Environmental Sustainability. Alvaro Canche, Sustainability Manager for the Beer Division, also continues to drive collaborations with Constellation Brands colleagues in Mexico.

Diageo

Diageo is another founding member company that brings sustainability leaders with unique perspectives and expertise to the BIER consortium.

Michael Wilson, Global Environmental Sustainability Director, has been working in the food and beverage industry since 1988, holding multiple positions and gaining experience in technical management and supply chain innovation. He serves as Diageo’s Steering Committee representative and shares his expertise with the Benchmarking and Technology working groups.

Michael Alexander, Global Head of Water, Environment, and Agriculture Sustainability, is a leader with more than 20 years of experience in sustainability strategy development, implementation, and evaluation. He participates in BIER’s Water and Public Relations & Communications working groups.

HEINEKEN

“Brewing a Better World” is HEINEKEN’s motto, making the company and its environmental experts a welcome part of the BIER team.

Paul Bruijn, who is part of the BIER Steering Committee, leader for the Energy & Climate working group, and participant in the Benchmarking working group, started his environmental career back in 1989 as a HEINEKEN research scientist. He’s been with the company ever since and has grown into the role of Senior Global Lead for Safety and Environment. He also represents BIER and provides input into the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) pilots.

Another long-time representative to BIER, Ron Bohlmeijer, specializes in corporate water stewardship and water risk identification and mitigation. So, it’s no surprise that he is currently HEINEKEN’s Senior Global Water Leader and is part of the Water working group. He’s also part of our Technology working group.

Keurig Dr. Pepper

Keurig Dr. Pepper is the newest member of our consortium, joining us to help grow industry sustainability and further its own mission to make a lasting positive impact on the world. (Keurig Green Mountain was formerly a member of BIER, and we’re thrilled to have them back, with new expertise and a new brand portfolio.)

Chief Sustainability Officer Monique Oxender comes to the BIER table with more than two decades in the sustainability space, including several years spent with Ford Motor Company. Joining Monique is Sustainability Director Christina Bosch Ladd, who has spent her entire career within the environmental studies realm.

Molson Coors and MillerCoors

Molson Coors and MillerCoors believe being a great brewer means being a great environmental steward—a sentiment all BIER members share.

Representing the company on the BIER Steering Committee and within the Water working group is Kim Marotta, Global Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility and Alcohol Policy. She has 15 years of corporate responsibility and sustainability experience in the beverage sector under her belt, plus 13 years as a trial attorney. Kim keeps her fingers on the pulse of sustainability and industry news, sharing her industry knowledge via a carefully curated weekly newsletter throughout Molson Coors and MillerCoors, in addition to her ongoing cross-department strategy and project collaboration.

In addition, several other Molson Coors and MillerCoors leaders are active in BIER including: John Morgan, Global Sustainability Manager; Natalie Lau, Corporate Responsibility Manager; Gregory Miller, Director of On-Premise National Accounts; and Diane Wagner, who works in corporate responsibility communications.

Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray’s business is rooted in collaboration, so it’s no surprise that the company committed to driving collective innovation by joining BIER.

Jennifer Bowe, Head of Global Impact and Sustainability, contributes her strategic expertise to the Benchmarking, Water, and Transparency & Disclosure working groups. Before joining Ocean Spray, Jennifer served in sustainability leadership roles for several high-profile organizations including Ceres, WWF, and Harvard Law School.

In addition, Emily O’Halloran, Global Impact and Agricultural Sustainability Analyst, has joined BIER as a company representative.

PepsiCo

PepsiCo is another founding member company with a deep commitment to sustainability and brings great talent and insight to the table.

Al Halvorsen, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, has been working on sustainability initiatives with PepsiCo since 1988. Since his work spans across multiple brand operations, Al brings both beverage and food industry insights to the table in his capacity as the company’s BIER Steering Committee representative. He also participates on the Benchmarking working group.

He’s joined by Karen Kennedy, Global Operations Sustainability Senior Manager, Carla White, FLNA Sustainability Analyst, and Josh Bayly, Global Sustainability Strategy and Communications Leader.

Pernod Ricard

Unsurprisingly, sustainability and responsibility are front and center for Pernod Ricard and the company joined BIER shortly after our 2006 inception.

Representing the company on the Steering Committee and the Benchmarking working group is Jean-François Roucou, the company’s Group Sustainable Performance Director. Jean-Francois brings more than 25 years of experience in the agroindustry, from risk management to sustainability strategy.

Other Pernod Ricard representatives, who boast 50 years of combined sustainability experience include Carine Christophe, Group Environmental Manager; Danielle Kohler, Group Technical Coordinator; Julie Lejard, Sustainable Business Analyst; and Florence Taron, Project Manager.

The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is another founding member lending environmental expertise across all BIER working groups.

Among BIER representatives is Paul Bowen, Director of Wastewater, Environment & Sustainability (and one of the founding idea-originators behind BIER). Paul is incredibly well-known in the field for his water stewardship advocacy and work, and he brings his unique interest and technical expertise in wastewater, innovative technologies and more to his participation on the BIER Steering Committee, as well as the Benchmarking, Water, and Technology working groups. A newer face to BIER, his colleague Laurie Gilmore, Water Technology Quality Manager, also serves as a company representative on the BIER Steering Committee.

Other company experts include: Geert Huysmans, Global Sustainability Manager, Climate Protection; Jamal Booker, Director of Customer Communications; Shagonda Green, Senior Governance Manager, Business Integration; Deniz Dogan Billur, Environment, Health and Safety Manager; and Serena Levy, Stakeholder Engagement Leader.

The BIER Team From Antea Group

Antea Group’s team has facilitated the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable’s work since BIER’s inception in 2006.

Nick Martin, BIER’s long-time Associate Director (and now Executive Director), is a water stewardship expert with over fifteen years of experience in environmental sustainability issues. In addition to his work facilitating the Water working group and Steering Committee for BIER, Nick serves as the Sustainability Practice Leader for Antea Group and works with clients across industries to support and manage their sustainability-related business risks and opportunities. He also has previous experience working in the nonprofit sector and the Peace Corps.

Other company experts include: Laura Nelson, Senior Consultant and Corporate Reporting Leader at Antea Group, who serves as BIER’s Associate Director and manages BIER’s Benchmarking and Transparency & Disclosure working groups; and Margaret Dunbar, Consultant and Solutions Marketing Director at Antea Group, who serves as BIER’s Membership and Communications Director.

Cheers to the Next 10 Years—and Beyond

The great sustainability challenges our world and industry faces are complex and ever-changing: evolving consumer attitudes, single-use plastics and packaging, bolstering and expanding product lines while reaching sustainability aspirations, and the list goes on.

But together we’re tackling those challenges—and harnessing opportunity.

Stay tuned for more details on the work we’ve been doing, as well as hear from our experienced environmental leaders on key lessons learned from their work today and the trends they’re keeping a watchful eye on.

What does the future hold for sustainability in the beverage sector? Get the perspectives and predictions from several of our members.



The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) is a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector.
By BIER

The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) is a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector. BIER aims to affect sector change through work focused on water stewardship, energy efficiency and climate change, beverage container recycling, sustainable agriculture, and ecosystem services. BIER members include: American Beverage Association, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Constellation Brands, Diageo, Heineken, Keurig Dr Pepper, MillerCoors, Molson Coors, Ocean Spray Cranberries, PepsiCo, and Pernod Ricard.

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