A 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey further sheds light on this resilient generation who is determined to change the world. The pandemic has heralded a deeper sense of personal responsibility among millennials than ever before. They are optimistic and believe that the post-pandemic society can be better than the previous one.
They are also tenacious enough to ensure companies comply. Over 70% people surveyed in a report from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and AT Kearney said they would engage in brands that elicited trust and were sustainable. Out of this varied demographic, millennials play a big role.
Committing to the future
As millennials embrace change, they expect companies to make significant strides towards sustainability. To meet the changing expectations of these young Indians, companies need to evolve quickly and acquire new business strategies in the new normal. Through purpose driven activities that go beyond profit, companies can effectively address environmental and climate change, with a focus on community development and broad stakeholder capitalism.
AB InBev, the world's leading brewer, is committed to helping communities and preserving natural resources by supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its Sustainability 2025 Goals across four pillars: Water Stewardship, Climate Action, Smart Agriculture and Circular Packaging. By keeping these goals at the forefront, AB InBev is poised to make maximum measurable impact that will foster growth and touch the lives of the community through the supply chain, while resonating with the values of millennials.
Taking holistic, measurable action
Creating water resilience in India is critical. Statistics reveal that more than half of the population doesn't have access to safe drinking water. Due to lack of access of potable water, nearly 200,000 people die every year. According to a 2018 NITI Aayog report, India's key cities including Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad are threatened by receding groundwater levels. This will directly impact a population of 100 million people and the future of the younger generations.
The government announced the Jal Jeevan Mission in 2020 which will address this crisis by providing potable water to each rural household by 2024; it has already impacted 20 million households last year. Start-ups such as social impact concerns Swajal, WEGoT and Vassar Labs and Agua are also doing their part, leveraging technology to provide end-to-end water management solutions and democratizing access to this resource.
The private sector too has role to play to tackle water scarcity. AB InBev has steered mechanisms with comprehensive strategies to tackle groundwater depletion. With a commitment to enhance water availability, the brewer is actively working in communities to create interventions and ground action in high priority states like Haryana, Maharashtra and Telangana. Combining traditional wisdom with scientific knowledge, the company has collaborated with local NGOs such as Arpan Seva Sansthan and Scope along with organizations such as International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Lets Endorse to implement projects for water conservation across 25 villages. In the past decade, by taking a holistic approach to soil, crop, water and livestock management in Sangareddy district, Telangana, AB InBev has built 450+ water harvesting structures. These include check dams, loose boulder structures, recharging pits, ponds and percolation tanks across 13 villages in the district. This initiative has a dual impact—conserving water as well as enhancing farm productivity.
AB InBev is also actively engaging with millennials, empowering them to be a part of the solution to global crises. One instance is Corona's long-standing partnership with global network Parley for the Oceans. It raised awareness about the detrimental effect of plastic pollution on beaches and activated communities by engaging thousands of volunteers to be involved in beach cleanups across the globe, including India, and the ‘Pay with Plastic' program.
By addressing some of the most pressing challenges that we all are currently facing through active interventions and by engaging stakeholders to be part of the process, AB InBev is strengthening its relationship with millennials, who are on a quest for sustainability.