14. Chapter 1: The company (continued)
The Heineken company, which traces its roots to 1864, is one of the leading international
brewers. Available in almost every country on the planet, the Heineken brand is the most
valuable international beer brand.
The Heineken® story began in 1864, when Gerard
Adriaan Heineken bought a brewery in the heart
of Amsterdam. Over the subsequent 142 years,
four generations of the Heineken family have
strengthened and expanded our brands and
our company in Europe and around the world.
Our business is about building great brands.
In addition to our flagship Heineken brand, we
also brew and sell more than 170 international
premium, regional, local and specialty beers.
Our Amstel brand is Europe's third-largest brand,
while other famous brands in our portfolio include
Cruzcampo®, Tiger®, Zywiec®, Birra Moretti®,
Ochota,® Murphy's® and Star®.
Thanks to our global network, including over
115 breweries and distributors in more than 65
countries, we have the widest presence of all
international brewers. The popularity of our beers
is still growing daily, in relatively new and rapidly
expanding beer markets such as Russia.
In Western Europe, we are the largest beer brewer
and beverage distributor. We earn more than half
of our sales there, whilst our wholesalers also
distribute wine, spirits and soft drinks to the on-
trade. We have now extended that leadership to
Central and Eastern Europe and also have an
international export operation, shipping beer
to major profitable markets such as the USA.
In some markets, we also produce soft drinks.
We are committed to growth and we embrace
innovation as a key component of our strategy in
production, marketing communication, packaging
and draught beer systems (one area in which we
are an acknowledged leader). We work hard to
makes sure we always anticipate and meet
consumers' changing needs.
We take our commitment to conduct business
responsibly and in a sustainable manner very
seriously, working to constantly expand our
initiatives to combat alcohol abuse and misuse,
while also setting and exceeding ever-higher
standards in the social and environmental areas
of our business.
The governance model for Heineken N.V. is
explained fully in our Annual Report and in the
Comply or Explain report that is available on our
corporate website. In this chapter we outline the
governance processes relevant to our corporate
The CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board
is responsible for our corporate responsibility
strategy. To support balanced decision making,
we have installed the CSR Advisory Board,
Heineken N.V. - 2004/2005 Sustainability Report