The South African Breweries (SAB) and AB InBev is celebrating its annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day on Friday, 15th September 2017.

 The day, themed “Drink Smart Today, Celebrate Tomorrow”, is focused on bringing awareness to issues of harmful drinking and promoting smart drinking within the business, amongst the company’s partners and its consumers.

 “Harmful drinking concerns us, and we know that more needs to be done by us, our industry peers, civil society and government to reduce the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol. As a global brewer, SAB is committed to playing its part by working with communities and the public sector in finding effective solutions to the problem,” says Doreen Kosi, Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs at SAB and AB InBev Africa.

“At SAB we believe that smart drinking choices affect everyone, every day. We are committed to helping foster a global culture of smart drinking to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.”

 SAB has implemented a range of initiatives in partnership with private and public sector partners, to tackle the problem of harm cause by the misuse of alcohol. These initiatives are embedded within the organisation’s Better World sustainable development strategy under the Healthier World pillar with the aspiration of a healthier world where every experience with beer is a positive one.

 These initiatives form part of the organisation’s Global Smart Drinking Goals which encapsulate its efforts to make a deeper investment in programmes that measurably shift social norms and behaviours toward smart drinking.

 The initiatives include:

SAB’s 18+ Be the Mentor campaign, which is a call to action for adults to become role models in the fight against underage drinking;

The SAB Smart Drinking Squad work to educate, enable and empower licenced tavern owners, their patrons and local communities to use alcohol responsibly;

Future Leaders, a local reality television programme which follows the lives of five teenagers tackling issues of alcohol abuse and other social ills;

Almost R40-million is being invested in tavern upgrades in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Egoli to enhance tavern safety and pedestrian road safety initiatives in three provinces.

SAB’s Smart Trader Programme educates retailers on key principles of smart trading to ensure compliance. Some of these principles include not serving alcohol to intoxicated and pregnant customers or to anyone underage. As part of this programme, 64 000 posters will be distributed in 32 000 taverns across SA during September to commemorate Global Beer Responsible Day;

A Global City Pilot project in Johannesburg City which will deliver a toolkit of programmes to combat drink driving, underage drinking, binge drinking as well as driving literacy around alcohol health;

SAB will help empower consumers to make smart drinking choices by ensuring they have access to both no and lower-alcohol options and information about the products they are consuming.

 “In a country where the harmful use of alcohol is prevalent, the need to develop interventions aimed at addressing this is pressing and one that SAB takes seriously. We are investing in effective, science-based programmes to advance positive social behaviour change and addressing the issue head-on,” says Kosi.

 “At SAB we believe that smart drinking choices affect everyone, every day. We are committed to helping foster a global culture of smart drinking to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.”

 SAB has also partnered with the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) on several hard-hitting initiatives to deal with harm caused by the misuse of alcohol, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Road Safety and Road Offences Panel Programme.  “As the ARA, we fully support the Global Be(er) Responsible Day being implemented by South African Breweries. The wide range of programmes being implemented shows the company is focused not only on creating awareness on the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol, but is actively tackling the issue and promoting Smart Drinking through on-the-ground projects. This is fully aligned with the approach being taken by the broader industry,” says Ingrid Louw, Chief Executive Officer of the ARA.

 During SAB’s Global Be(er) Responsible Day SAB will encourage its employees to sign up to become a mentor in the 18+ Be the Mentor campaign and help combat underage drinking; be a Smart Drinking Hero and be a designated driver to friends; and be an ambassador for smart drinking.