Japanese beverage conglomerate Asahi Group Holdings has created a new Group Chief Sustainability Officer role in a bid to better integrate sustainability into management.
With a market capitalisation of ¥2.89 trillion (almost US$20 billion), Asahi Group says sustainability integration is one of its core medium to long-term strategies, which the creation of the Group CSO role will support.
Drahomira Mandikova, currently Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Europe and International, will take on the new position as of April 1, 2024. Based in the Czech Republic, she has been managing corporate affairs for Asahi for seven years. Before that, she held similar roles in other beverage companies including Plzeňský Prazdroj and SABMiller, and spent seven years as an economist.
Asahi Group sustainability risks: raw materials procurement
Asahi Group has an SBTi-approved target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 70% and Scope 3 emissions by 30% by 203. Scope 3 represents the bulk (almost 91%) of its 9 million tonne carbon footprint, and the company is focusing on packaging and procurement changes to tackle it.
Procurement is particularly relevant, as Asahi has identified changes in the procurement of key raw materials as a result of climate change as its most relevant risk in the coming years.
“Under a scenario in which the average global temperature rises by 4°C by the end of the 21st century, we have identified the possibility of cost increases of ¥2.6 billion (US$18 billion) for coffee and ¥1.9 billion (US$13 billion) for corn. Addressing the environmental risks that may greatly affect the yield or quality of agricultural raw materials by promoting the sustainable procurement of raw materials enables us to not only mitigate the environmental impact of our business activities, but also contribute to achieving sustainable agriculture in regions where raw materials are sourced,” says the company in its latest sustainability report.
Asahi Group governance changes
Mandikova’s appointment as Group CSO is part of a raft of changes to Asahi’s management structure, to” strengthen group governance and maximise corporate value beyond the sum of regional business”.
The CFO, Chief HR Officer (now Chief People Officer) and Chief Growth and Alliance Officer roles have also been redesigned to act at the group level, and a Group Chief Research & Development Officer role has been established to “lead the charge” in R&D initiatives, including the creation of new technologies, products, and services.