32 // Cover Story
The original Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, now home to the Heineken Experience Museum.
Looking to the future With so much progress already made, what motivates Houghton and his team to push ahead with each new day? “I like to visit the mountains, and I want to make sure that there’s some snow left for me to enjoy!” says Houghton with a smile. His efforts to reduce environmental damage extend to his personal life too. “Here in the Netherlands I have a bike. I haven’t had a car for six years,” he says. Houghton’s colleague Donker, meanwhile, has a hydrocarbon fridge at home. In building his house back home in Eindhoven, he worked hard to install an efficient heating system and the best possible insulation. “I’ve got two kids. One day the world will run out of oil. We need to find alternative energy solutions,” Donker says.
What’s next for Heineken? “We’re up to date regarding the latest technologies and the latest thinking for how we can achieve our targets and push ahead,” Houghton says.
Yet the company continues to push boundaries in order to maximise energy efficiency. In Mexico this year, for example, “we launched fridges with variable-speed compressors, which we’d never done before at Heineken, in order to achieve that next step,” Houghton says. “We need to know where the next energy efficiency boost will come from, and we look to the market for the latest innovations that will do that,” he explains. Houghton does not see major differences between doing business in Europe and elsewhere in the Heineken universe. “Other than the speed of change and the speed of adoption, it’s pretty much the same. We’re one of the few global departments in a very decentralised company,” he says. “It’s about persuasion and about commitment from the top. This came from CEO, which helps, because then it’s on everyone’s radar,” Houghton says. “We’ve got to the point where the green way – with hydrocarbons – is an accepted part of the Heineken way of life. And it’s reflected in our logo!” he grins. AW
Accelerate Europe // Summer 2018
HEINEKEN: CHEERS TO A GREENER WORLD!