East African Breweries Limited (EABL) last evening marked its 100 years birthday with a Kshs 100 million commitment in a partnership with the Government to save elephants in Kenya. In a ceremony attended by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes, EABL’s Group Managing Director Jane Karuku said the funding affirms the company’s sustainability commitment in the region.
She added: “Related to our long-standing legacy and impact, conservation is deeply stitched in EABL’s history not only because our first brewery was set up as a riverside operation 100 years ago in Ruaraka – but elephants are also core to Tusker, our iconic beer brand. We believe this is one of the biggest single investments in addressing conservation efforts and will go a long way in saving these animals currently facing the biggest threat, due to poaching.”
Speaking at the centenary celebrations at The Nairobi National Park, Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said the company is proud of EABL’s incredible history, tradition, and business in East Africa, with Kenya contributing the biggest of our presence in this region. EABL is a subsidiary of Diageo, the world’s largest spirits business.
“EABL is a jewel of a business, with a fantastic 100-year heritage. But its impact across East Africa, where it is creating employment for over 2 million people, directly and indirectly, demonstrates more vividly what this business can do for the next century. In Kenya, EABL has the potential to expand its 47,000-strong farming community, earning Kshs 1.2 billion annually to the next level. As part of the Diageo family, we are proud to be associated with this business.”
He added: “We have a responsibility as a local manufacturer and employer to grow our business sustainably and with this significant investment, EABL will extend its past efforts in safeguarding Kenya’s water towers, national parks and game reserves in Kenya.”
Sustainability will be a key driver for EABL and Tusker over the next 100 years. Over the last decade, the company has planted over 1.3 million trees around the country with a success rate of 85 per cent – and EABL hopes to double that number by 2030.
To support the company’s transition to low carbon operations, EABL has facilitated an over 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the last 2 years.
Ms. Karuku said: “Among other sustainability efforts, we have recently invested in a new Kshs 5 billion biomass plant, one of the biggest in the region, and its completion soon will help us achieve Net Zero status reducing our carbon emissions by 48,000 metric tonnes annually. In addition, water stewardship is a long-standing strategic priority and our goal in Kenya is to replenish 1.6 million cubic metres by 2026 across all our three sites in Kenya.”
EABL and Tusker have been at the heart of Kenyan life since its launch, accompanying the region through its ups and downs. Since its launch in 1922, when the brewery was established by brothers Charles and George Hurst to brew Tusker, EABL has grown to become East and Central Africa’s largest manufacturer. Tusker, now one of Africa’s most admired brands, has been central to Kenya’s culture, as the biggest driver of sports and music.