Member Spotlight: Natalie LauSeptember 26, 2019 | BIER
Name: Natalie Lau, Global Corporate Responsibility Manager
Company: Molson Coors
Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn
Which of your company’s sustainability initiatives/achievements are you most proud of?
Molson Coors has a long history of being committed to sustainability, so when MillerCoors and Molson Coors became one company in 2016, we knew we needed to set an ambitious new strategy and a set of goals that focuses our efforts on the issues impacting our global business. In 2017, we launched a new sustainability strategy, called Our Beer Print 2025, with goals that will take us to 2025.
We are on our second year of implementing the goals and I’m personally very proud of our recently launched sustainability report that highlights our achievements so far. With the release of the report, we also introduced a new set of packaging targets and new science-based emission reduction targets.
The reason we decided to focus on these two areas is because we believe that both issues–climate change and plastic waste–have really reached a tipping point. It demands meaningful action from companies, governments, and everyone, really, to come together and help tackle these big global issues.
We believe that as a company and as a responsible business, we have the obligation to step forward. That’s why we decided to launch these goals to tackle the packaging waste crisis and set aggressive emission reduction targets that align with the latest science. Our direct emission reductions target is in-line with the Science-Based Target Initiative’s recommendation to limit warming below 1.5°C, which is the most aggressive target out there.
I’m proud of our commitments that we have made and I’m looking forward to working with our teams internally to drive action towards these goals and to inspire others in the industry to work with us to accelerate real progress on these global issues.
What is your favorite practical insight you have gained from being in BIER?
BIER is a safe space where we can “talk shop” with people that get what I do on a day-to-day basis. It’s industry-specific, so I can immediately apply the thinking, the processes and the case studies into my job.
From the practical insight perspective, I think the benchmarking data and understanding how industry peers are disclosing sustainability information has been particularly helpful. As stakeholder expectations in sustainability are rapidly evolving, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure landscape is also changing to meet those expectations.
New disclosure frameworks are seemingly popping up every year. As a sustainability team, we have limited resources to put towards responding to each request and we want to be strategic and thoughtful in our approach to reporting. Through BIER, we are able to understand what reporting frameworks our peers are prioritizing and what areas we should encourage our own organization to report against. It’s been helpful to find what really drives value by engaging with others in BIER.
How has being in BIER shaped your sustainability strategy/enriched your sustainability strategy?
All the member companies are part of the consumer goods space, which is a dynamic and constantly changing space. As consumer preferences evolve, we, in turn, must move and change with them. With rising expectations from our consumers, investors, shareholders, and stakeholders, we have to be on the leading edge of corporate action.
Seeing what our industry peers are either doing or committing to, from ABI’s brewing with 100% renewable energy to Carlsberg’s Together Towards Zero campaign, has shaped our own ambition. We are learning from each other and enhancing our strategy in a really good way as we continue to push the bar even higher for positive change.
What area(s) of BIER’s work and the Transparency and Disclosure Working Group initiatives are you most interested in? Why?
The Transparency and Disclosure Working Group has been invaluable for us. As I mentioned, stakeholder expectations are evolving and ESG disclosure guidance is constantly changing. With this working group, it’s helpful for us to assess new frameworks, provide feedback as a collective industry and where we should be spending our time and effort.
Understanding where the industry is at is also helping us drive internal strategies as well, like improving internal alignment between legal, risk management, investor relations and finance teams to address topics like climate-related risks, as well as getting the right players involved and collaborating on our overall approach to ESG disclosures.
What’s one cool thing people might not know about you or your company?
I recently had a baby. This is my first, and he just turned one—so I guess it isn’t that recent! Even though I’ve been in the sustainability industry for a while now, I feel like my work has taken on new meaning and purpose since being back from maternity leave.
It’s really cool that I get to help build and progress toward these long-term sustainability goals that take us to 2025. It feels so far away, but it really isn’t. At that point, my little one will just be entering first grade, and he will have a much better understanding of what mommy does and why it is important. I am proud and so grateful that I have the opportunity to not only build value for Molson Coors’ shareholders, employees, and consumers but also build a more sustainable future for my son.
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.