Molson Coors Beverage Company said today that it is recommitting to support Indigenous, Black and Colour-focused organizations (BIPOC) committed to equity, empowerment, justice and community development in the cities where the company and its breweries operate across North America by offering grants totalling $1.5 million as part of its Justice Project.

The announcement coincides with the release of the company's annual report on environmental, social and governance standards, which details the progress it has made in 2021 toward meeting its goals for people and protecting the planet.

Created after the instability that characterized the year 2020, the Justice Project has invested a total of $4.5 million in dozens of non-profit and community organizations. This year, the Justice Project is dedicating more than $500,000 in completion scholarships that will enable students from disadvantaged communities whose financial needs are not met to complete their college diploma.

As Stated by Molson Coors President and CEO Gavin Hattersley, 'As a company, we strongly believe that equitable access to higher education and mentorship opportunities is essential to filling the gaps among Indigenous, Black and coloured students in disadvantaged communities. This year, we are proud to invest in more than 20 institutions dedicated to addressing educational gaps and creating a more diverse pool of future employees and leaders. '

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, black and brown-skinned students have lower graduation rates over 5 years than white students. As these students take longer to graduate, they incur more debt, which ultimately impacts their ability to earn income.

Michael Nordman, Senior Chief, Community Affairs, said, 'That's why Molson Coors has identified equitable access to greater higher education and economic opportunities as a predominant component of the Justice Project. Our goal is to help develop career paths that lead from education to employment. The company has partnered with more than 20 higher education organizations in Chicago, Denver and Milwaukee.

Molson Coors also supports underrepresented students interested in a career in brewing by increasing the number of scholarships it awards through the Tenth & Blake Brewing Training Fund to six. In Canada, the company is considering a scholarship for BIPOC students at the University of British Columbia, the second largest institution of higher learning in Canada and the most diverse in the country.

Report on environmental, social and governance standards shows progress

Molson Coors' announcement coincides with the release of its annual environmental, social and governance standards report, which outlines its progress towards meeting its 2025 footprint targets for people and protecting the planet. These goals include the representation of women and people of colour on staff as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, restoring water in damaged watersheds, and packaging improvements.

This report is the first to be released under the supervision of Rachel Schneider, Vice President, Sustainability and Environment, Health and Safety, Molson Coors, who joined the company in June after working at Harley-Davidson. A newcomer to the beverage industry, Ms. Schneider spent the first few months in her role familiarizing herself with the complexities of the sector, from the agricultural fundamentals of breweries to bottle and can manufacturing, the supply chain and other components.

What did she learn from it?

'The foundation is solid,' she says. 'I've been fortunate to see what our reporting and the company's commitments are based on and I've seen that Molson Coors does things very well in many cases. Whether it's the elimination of plastic rings, our water governance projects, our plans to reduce carbon emissions, or our diversity, equity and inclusion goals, we get it right very often. '

This includes steps such as the adoption of 100% renewable electricity in the UK, a major overhaul underway at golden's brewery that will be among the most efficient in the world once this project is completed, and the elimination of plastic rings from six-can packaging for all Molson Coors North American brands by 2025.

A former lawyer with a background in environmental law, Ms. Schneider stresses that sustainability cannot be 'an annex' to companies.

She says, 'This is not a separate program. Fundamentally, we are talking about the long-term sustainability of the industry and the risks and opportunities presented by environmental and social impacts. '

Last year, Molson Coors' report on environmental, social and governance standards signaled a renewed focus on people and protecting the planet. In addition to its long-standing focus on the environment, the beverage producer has set ambitious goals to increase the representation of women and people of colour within the company, particularly in leadership positions, and to further promote the use of minority or female suppliers.

Molson Coors made progress in 2021, including:

It increased the representation of women and people of colour in its staff and management with the goal of increasing the number of employees of colour by 25%; it also spent $360.3 million with diversified suppliers to meet its cumulative commitment of $1 billion over 3 years by 2023.

Since 2016, the company has reduced its Category 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from its direct operations by 27.9% to meet its 50% emissions reduction target by 2025.

Molson Coors restored 205 million gallons of water; since 2014, it has restored 2.8 billion gallons with the goal of restoring 3.5 billion gallons by 2025.

By the end of 2021, 99.5% of its packaging was reusable, recyclable or compostable. Molson Coors' packaging contains only 4.4% plastic and 15.2% of its consumer packaging is made of at least 30% recycled content.

In addition, 17 of its 25 generation facilities maintained a complete disposal status for their waste sent to landfill and, overall, reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills to less than 1%.

To this end, Rachel Schneider says, 'We have not stopped making progress in recent years. What we have achieved in terms of reducing emissions since 2017 has been truly significant. This has not been easy to achieve. '

Another sign that Molson Coors is fully committed to sustainable practices is the fact that the company has, for the first time in 2021, combined the compensation of its CEO, Gavin Hattersley, with the achievement of environmental, social and governance goals. In 2022, this practice was expanded to add the entire company's management team and their direct subordinates.

As Ms. Schneider points out, 'This reflects what is important to the company and its long-term philosophy. This is a signal we are sending to investors and employees. Our interests are at stake! '

BENEFICIARIES OF THE JUSTICE PROJECT

Albany Civil Rights Museum

America's Black Holocaust Museum

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Black and Brown Owned Business Resiliency Grant Program

Black North Initiative

Black Resilience Fund of Colorado

Brave Space Alliance

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Emily Griffith Technical College

Equal Justice Initiative

Friendly City Safe Space

FoodShare

HBCU Classics Scholarships

Latino Community Foundation of Colorado

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee Urban League

MKE Fellow

My Block, My Hood, My City

National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum

National Urban League

Native American Rights Fund

Near West Side Partners

One Million Degrees

Tenth & Blake Brewing Education Fund

The Lonely Entrepreneur's Black Entrepreneur Initiative

UnidosUS

University of British Columbia

Urban League of Southwest Ohio

WaterFirst

Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

Support also includes investments in organizations that provide counselling, education and justice services to Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada.

(C) 2022 Electronic News Publishing, source ENP Newswire