(Adds detail about China market, updates headline)
DAVOS, Switzerland May 25 (Reuters) - Budweiser brewer AB
InBev is "off track" in reaching its goal of making 20%
of its beer volume non-alcoholic and low-alcohol by 2025, its
chief sustainability officer Ezgi Barcenas told Reuters on
"We are a little over 6% still," Barcenas said in an
interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos,
adding: "We are off track."
The AB InBev goals were made to support the World Health
Organization in reaching its target to cut harmful drinking -
alcoholic beverage consumption that causes car accidents,
diseases and birth defects - by 10% in every country by 2025.
Barcenas said that the goals were made before AB InBev's
mega-deal with SABMiller Plc, which had led to a dramatic change
in the company's footprint. She also said that AB InBev's
"commercial strategy is changing."
"What we really want to do is provide the consumer with
choice and information," Barcenas said. "At the time this was
announced, we didn't have the availability of choice. We want to
focus on the choice as opposed to push the volume out."
AB InBev has reached the 20% target in some countries, such
as China and Panama, according to its 2021 environmental, social
and governance (ESG) report, which shows it has also expanded
its non-alcohol brands to 42 from 26 in the past five years.
The brewer, whose brands include Hoegaarden Rose 0.0% and
Jupiler 0.0%, now has more than 80 non-alcoholic and
low-alcoholic beers and beverages, Barcenas said.
Climate change and corporate actions to curb it are a theme
at the annual gathering of business and political leaders in the
Swiss Alpine ski resort of Davos.
Barcenas said that soaring energy prices - seen by leaders
at the WEF as potentially disrupting corporate climate goals -
will speed up payback periods for green energy projects.
"It's accelerating the transition and making the business
case stronger to invest in efficiency," she said.
AB InBev has a goal to have net zero carbon emissions across
its value chain by 2040. Like many beverage and consumer product
makers, it faces the biggest challenge in reducing its so-called
scope three emissions, which come from consumers throwing away
beer cans and bottles and distribution.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Jessica
DiNapoli in Davos, Switzerland; Editing by Alexander Smith)