Alcohol & Health
When consumed in moderation, beer and other alcoholic drinks in our portfolio can be part of a well-balanced lifestyle. We are proud brewers committed to promoting responsible consumption and reducing the harmful use of alcohol. We think it is important that consumers are well-informed about alcohol, our products and how they can be enjoyed responsibly. We make sure to emphasise this on our packaging, in our advertising and promotions and through our partnerships. We offer a wide range of drinks at varying Alcohol by Volume (ABV), including more and more no-alcohol and low-alcohol options.
Consuming alcohol is an individual choice. Personal risks and benefits should be considered before consumption. Some evidence has shown that there is a relationship between alcohol consumption and certain health issues. Alcohol affects different people in different ways. For some people also moderate alcohol consumption may increase certain health risks such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes and certain types of cancer. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your Doctor.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can create dangerous long-term consequences such as physical dependence or addiction to alcohol, and should always be avoided. Some people should never drink. For example; people who are below the legal drinking age, pregnant, about to drive or operate machinery, or cannot control their drinking.
Many governments publish recommended drinking guidelines for consumers to reference. Public health authorities also provide a great source of information. To learn more about alcohol and health, we recommend visiting the following sources:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Knowledge Institute of Beer (KIB)
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- International Alliance For Responsible Drinking (IARD)
Marketing our products responsibly
Our Responsible Marketing Code guides everyone at Heineken who is involved in marketing and selling our products to ensure we do not contribute to excessive consumption or misuse.
We also comply with regional and national codes for beer or alcohol advertising. We only place commercial communication where at least 70% of the audience is over 18 years or in some countries the legal purchase age if that is higher than 18 years. We will only feature people who are at least 25 years old and act and appear their age. We will not suggest alcohol is the key to social or sexual success.
We define commercial communications as all activities carried out in order to market our brands (alcoholic and any non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic brands). This includes: all advertising, the brand name, product descriptor, packaging and labelling, digital and mobile phone communication, sponsorships, product placement, promotions (on & off-trade) and point of sale materials. As an industry leader we implement a consistent, effective approach to encouraging responsible attitudes to alcohol and actively discourage abuse or alcohol. By doing so, we play an active role to support the reduction of irresponsible drinking.
Employees as ambassadors
We encourage our employees to be ambassadors for alcohol responsibility and to take personal responsibility for their own alcohol use.
Heineken companies worldwide implement Cool@Work - a workplace alcohol information and prevention programme. It aims to improve safety and health at work, ensure responsible alcohol consumption and create awareness, commitment and ambassadorship among employees.
Employees are divided into three groups and targeted information and support is delivered to each group:
- Green: the majority who consume alcohol in moderation and are responsible drinkers
- Amber: Those at risk of developing alcohol problems because of their job activities or characteristics
- Red: Individuals showing performance or health problems because of their alcohol consumption Targeted communication and training is implemented annually by our global operating companies using tool and methods most appropriate to local market needs.
Working with the industry
Industry can be a valuable partner to encourage responsible drinking. The combined impact of brewers working together to address common issues is more powerful and in some cases has greater impact than companies acting alone.
Industry groups, governments, non-government organisations, consumer groups, police forces, legislators, retailers, bar and pub owners and community groups all have a valuable role to play in encouraging responsible consumption.
We work with brewers on a global (Worldwide Brewing Alliance), regional (e.g. Brewers of Europe) and market level on joint initiatives to promote responsible consumption. We also cooperate with the wider alcohol industry on a global level (e.g. International Center for Alcohol Policies) and in many markets (e.g. Portman Group in the UK).
Working in partnership
We will work with others to encourage responsible attitudes to alcohol and to address alcohol related harm. It has been recognised by the World Health Organisation that brewers can effectively contribute to reducing alcohol related harm.
We currently have partnerships with a variety of NGO and third parties to address different areas of alcohol related harm.