We create and share value through our operations and relationships. We do this by giving back to stakeholders from the returns gained as a market leader with a diversified portfolio, quality commitment, a unique culture and long-term growth opportunities.

Our social involvement

What are we doing to help our communities to prosper?

In pursuit of our purpose, Creating a Future, Enhancing Life, NBL employees found an innovative new application for recycled steel from packaging waste.

Through the Desks for Education project, NBL employees and Group engineering company Kraatz repurposed steel into quality school desks that create a comfortable and positive learning environment for students. Desks for Education is a long-term project and more desks are in production.

A security supervisor employed by NBL for the past eight years donated computers, which he personally purchased, to two schools and a church in a marginalised community in the Omusati region. He claimed that NBL’s commitment as an organisation to make a difference in society inspired his initiative in living his own purpose.

One of our Area Sales Managers launched a competition in which he truly created a future for the winner of the competition. The first prize was a container that can be converted into either a small shop to sell essential items or a minibar owned by the winner.

Our relationship with the National Institute for Special Education (NISE) goes back more than 18 years.

NBL supported the School for the Visually Impaired, the School for the Hearing Impaired, and the Môreson School for the Mentally Impaired with AquaSplash water and Fruitree juice for a year.

NBL also sponsored one-day Character Transformation Training for principals, teachers and administrative staff, and will plant fruit trees at the Môreson School in support of its Green Scheme and Aquaponics Project Plan.

King Lager partnered with a vocational training centre as a way to give back to consumers.

An upskilling campaign called ‘Man with a Plan’ was launched to provide participants with tips and advice on various trades that will enable and inspire them to seek out means to make a living and take care of their families.

We selected relevant topics with the assistance of the Namibian Training Authority to be featured monthly on radio stations. Each topic was also covered in a workshop presented by experts in specific regions. Topics included carpentry and joinery, agronomy, animal farming, brick laying and plastering, electronics and renewable energy.

Our environmental initiatives

What are we doing to produce more and use fewer resources?

More than
of our water requirements
are met by our own sources

An average of just over
4 litres
of water is used per litre
of beverage produced

More than
of our production is packaged
in returnable bottles

NBL is the biggest industrial consumer of water in Windhoek. Water is vital to our operations: it is the primary ingredient in our products and is used in almost all our manufacturing processes.

Following a sustained regional drought in 2016, NamWater, as the national bulk supplier of water to the City of Windhoek, announced a 40% requirement for water savings. At that time, NBL obtained licences from the Department of Water Affairs to drill two boreholes on our premises. We implemented further water-saving options, such as the migration of production to other areas, including the Sedibeng Brewery in Johannesburg, reclamation in the brewing and packaging plants, and water reduction measures in the production process.

With poor rainfall in the past season, the City of Windhoek announced a water-saving requirement of 15%, which came into effect as of 1 July 2019.

Water is vital to our operations as it is the primary ingredient in our products and is used for manufacturing processes. We have thus launched a water project to mitigate the risk of a water crisis and implemented further water-saving options, such as reclamation in the brewing and packaging plants, and water reduction measures in the production process.

The total litres of water used for production declined by 9.4% over the past eight years. The excess water used during production does not go to waste as the majority is reclaimed and transferred into the city’s effluent system, where it gets recycled.

Our biomass boiler at the Windhoek brewery was a first for Namibia and is the biggest wood boiler in the country.

It replaced the use of approximately 4.6 million litres of heavy fuel oil since it was taken into production in 2017. This equates to a CO2 emissions reduction of 12 300 tons.

We are on track to generate 80% of our thermal energy with the biomass boiler by 2020.

The boiler uses wood chips sourced from pervasive invader bush, thereby clearing land for use and improving the carrying capacity of farms. From inception to date, invader bush thinning has been completed for approximately 3 000 hectares.

The rooftop solar plant meets more than 7% of our electricity demand. Overall, the solar plant has provided us with approximately 8 958 574 kWh of green energy, thereby saving 8 958 tons of CO2 emissions.

Thermal energy is mainly used in the brewing process and for cleaning and packaging processes. Our aim is to reduce thermal energy consumption as it directly affects our carbon footprint and the use of heavy fuel oils or wood chips.

Initiatives to reduce MJ/hℓ consumption:

  • Insulation of open valves and piping to reduce heat losses
  • Use of heat recovery systems
  • Monitoring and controlling of water losses from the system
  • Closing bypasses on the system network to reduce thermal losses
  • Automatic monitoring with alarms to address operational issues quickly
  • Using consumption data to optimise processes
  • Reviewing consumption data to assess system performance

Electricity prices have increased by 60% since 2012.

Previous efforts to manage our electricity use were constrained by manual readings and poor data quality, analysis and visibility. We have addressed these constraints by installing nearly 70 electrical energy meters at our Windhoek site to track electricity use by individual sections. We are now measuring kWh per production unit and per hectolitre. Targets have been set for each area using historic data.

Early successes in optimising our electricity use included the identification and replacement of old, inefficient equipment and process improvements at the water treatment, CO2 recovery and cooling plants.

We launched an initiative to recover beer extract from surplus yeast. The aim is to reduce water consumption, effluent volume, organic load in effluent, and heat and cooling consumption. Currently the bulk of surplus yeast volumes is discarded through the City of Windhoek’s waste-water treatment facility.

We continue to reclaim and pre-clean effluent, with the remaining waste volumes treated by the City of Windhoek according to a contractual agreement. The agreement prevents us from building our own waste-water plant, as the city works benefit from the bacteria in our effluent.

NBL is a founding member of the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF).

RNF launched Namibia’s first online Green Directory, which lists NBL as an organisation that has a vested interest in promoting environmentally friendly practices.

NBL also sponsored the first prize for the schools recycling competition, with around 50 schools participating. In 2018, for example, the competition achieved recycling of 275 kg per learner with a total of 133 tons.

We continue our wider initiatives to collect returnable bottles. More than half of NBL’s production is packaged in returnable containers that are collected through an extensive network to minimise waste.

The return of empty 500 ml and 750 ml returnable bottles forms part of transport logistics. Our high return ratio is, inter alia, made possible by an agreement with competitor AB InBev Namibia to exchange returnable bottles on a weekly basis.

We continue to support the fight against rhino poaching to bolster the sustainability of Namibia’s tourism industry.

Namibia is home to free-roaming rhino and the largest population of black rhino in Africa. Windhoek Lager partnered with Save the Rhino International in the UK, where a range of fundraising events and activities in outlets have been launched.

These events and activities are driving brand awareness and support customer accounts, while contributing to the struggle to conserve and protect rhinos.

NBL has been a leading supporter of campaigns against rhino poaching, which included the Blow the Horn on Rhino Poaching campaign launched in 2016. NBL availed N$1 million as a reward for reporting poaching activities. We also sponsored a two-seater aircraft for use in operations to curb poaching of Namibia’s wildlife.