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Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage among Poles, with nearly 73% of adults consuming it at least several times a year. This staggering statistic corresponds to approximately 23 million beer enthusiasts in the country. For decades, beer has held a special place in Polish culture, becoming synonymous with social gatherings, celebrations, and even the simplest moments of relaxation. However, as the beer market in Poland approaches saturation, it is essential to explore new avenues for growth and differentiation. This is where the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices in Polish breweries can play a transformative role. By embracing ESG principles, breweries can not only secure their relevance in a changing market but also contribute to a sustainable and responsible future for the entire industry.
The love for beer in Poland is undeniable, as evidenced by the staggering number of consumers in the country. With approximately 23 million beer enthusiasts, comprising 88% of adult Poles who consumed beer in the past year, the beverage holds a special place in the hearts of many. Contrary to stereotypes, beer is not solely a preference among men, as 62% of female consumers also indulge in its delightful taste. The younger population, aged 18-39, demonstrates the highest affinity for beer, with over 80% considering themselves regular or relatively regular consumers. However, the proportion of beer consumers decreases significantly among individuals over 46 years of age, highlighting the generational differences in preferences.
"Poles are among the top five countries in the world in terms of per capita beer consumption. Moreover, they remain loyal to beer brewed in Poland. Hence, the situation is very good and any complaints in the media that, for instance, the sector has seen a 1% decline (though one year earlier there was a 3% increase), are basically unjustified. Poland is currently a dreamland market for craft breweries: we are reclaiming a large desert, which was carefully circumscribed by sector leaders for the last 15 years. Craft breweries have been bringing ‘fresh water’ to that desert for the last three years. While they are still trading in small barrels, the irrigation of the desert has become an irreversible process." Ziemowit Fałat
As the beer market in Poland approaches saturation, it becomes crucial for breweries to not only cater to the evolving preferences of consumers but also to embrace responsible and sustainable practices. By integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into their operations, breweries can further enhance their appeal and contribute to a brighter future for the entire industry. Polish breweries, with their rich history and vibrant culture, can lead the way in embracing ESG practices, ensuring that beer remains an enduring symbol of enjoyment while prioritizing environmental conservation, social responsibility, and ethical governance. Through this harmonious fusion, breweries can continue to capture the hearts and palates of beer enthusiasts while creating a positive impact on society and sales.
Water, the elixir of life, is a finite resource that demands our utmost respect and preservation. In the realm of brewing, where water serves as a primary ingredient and vital component of the production process, its judicious management is paramount. Poland’s breweries can embrace ESG practices by investing in advanced water treatment technologies, implementing water recycling systems, and exploring alternative water sources. This commitment to sustainable water practices goes beyond mere compliance with regulations; it reflects a deep understanding of the interconnectedness between business operations and the preservation of our natural resources. Consider, for a moment, the brewery that utilizes rainwater harvesting systems, effectively reducing its reliance on municipal water supplies while simultaneously reducing strain on the local infrastructure. By championing such initiatives, breweries can serve as beacons of sustainability, inspiring others to follow suit and fostering a culture of responsible water stewardship all over the country.
The beer manufacturing process, with its intricate dance of ingredients and craftsmanship, provides an opportune stage for ESG integration. Imagine a brewery that sources its raw materials from local organic farms, thereby supporting sustainable agricultural practices and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. By forging partnerships with farmers who employ environmentally friendly techniques, Polish breweries can not only ensure the quality and traceability of their ingredients but also nurture a symbiotic relationship with the land from which they draw their inspiration. Moreover, by embracing renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, breweries can significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Polish cities ambition of becoming greener. Picture a brewery adorned with solar panels, silently harnessing the sun's energy to power its brewing operations and minimizing its reliance on fossil fuels. Such a sight would surely inspire both admiration and emulation, setting a shining example of sustainable practices for the entire brewing industry.
Yet, the impact of ESG extends beyond the realm of environmental stewardship. Microbreweries, as cultural epicenters, hold the power to shape societal norms and foster inclusivity. By actively promoting responsible alcohol consumption, breweries can become catalysts for change, helping to mitigate the negative consequences associated with excessive drinking. Consider a brewery that collaborates with local organizations to provide educational campaigns on responsible consumption, hosts alcohol-free events, and supports initiatives addressing alcohol-related issues. Through these concerted efforts, breweries can cultivate a culture of mindful enjoyment, reinforcing the notion that conviviality need not be synonymous with excess. By prioritizing social responsibility, breweries can create a safe and inclusive environment where patrons can appreciate the art of brewing while ensuring their well-being and that of the broader society.
The importance of governance in the pursuit of sustainable business practices cannot be overstated. Breweries that demonstrate strong corporate governance frameworks, characterized by transparency, ethical decision-making, and accountability, inspire trust and confidence among their stakeholders. By adopting stringent codes of conduct, fostering diversity and inclusion within their workforce, and prioritizing employee well-being, breweries can create an environment that nurtures talent, fosters innovation, and upholds the highest standards of ethical conduct. In turn, this will attract socially conscious investors, customers, and partners who seek to align themselves with organizations that prioritize sustainability and responsible business practices. By setting an example of ethical leadership, Polish breweries can contribute.
It is why indeed a crucial ESG framework is needed to ensure that claims of sustainability are not merely empty words, but backed by concrete actions and transparent reporting. This holds true for breweries, including microbreweries, which, due to their social engagement with customers, have an opportunity to lead the corporate social responsibility movement in Poland or be part of the leaders in this realm. To create genuine value and foster trust, breweries must go beyond superficial greenwashing and demonstrate a true commitment to sustainable practices. This involves adopting robust measurement and reporting frameworks. Microbreweries have a unique advantage when it comes to engaging with their customers on a more personal level. With their local presence and community-oriented approach, they can forge strong relationships based on shared values and trust. This makes them well-suited to lead the corporate social responsibility movement in Poland. By prioritizing sustainability and actively involving their customers in their sustainability initiatives, microbreweries can inspire others to follow suit.
Moreover, microbreweries can leverage their supply chains to drive positive change. They can source ingredients locally, supporting small-scale farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation. They can prioritize national fair-trade practices and establish partnerships with suppliers who share their commitment to sustainability. By demonstrating the importance of responsible sourcing and supporting local economies, microbreweries can inspire a wider movement within the brewing industry and beyond.
In conclusion, microbreweries, through their social engagement with customers and local communities, can lead the corporate social responsibility movement in Poland. By verifying and assuring their ESG data, they can ensure that their sustainability claims are not mere rhetoric. Through transparent reporting, active customer engagement, and responsible supply chain practices, microbreweries can set an example for others and contribute to a more sustainable future.
And WE at Lion Environmental, as a trusted ESG consulting firm, can play a crucial role in helping microbreweries or spirit breweries staging and achieving their sustainability goals. With our unique approach, love for the product and our invaluable expertise and guidance navigate you through the complex landscape of ESG practices and ensuring that your sustainability efforts are effective and impactful. With our support, we can implement sustainable business strategies, verify our ESG data, and align your operations with the highest environmental and social standards. WE at Lion Environmental empower microbreweries to become national Polis leaders in sustainability, making a meaningful difference in your industry and beyond.
What sets beer apart as a beloved beverage in Poland is its versatility. Poles do not require a special occasion to enjoy a pint, with 71% of beer drinkers claiming that they indulge in beer regardless of the event or circumstance. It is a beverage deeply intertwined with social interactions, as 56% of respondents choose beer during social get-togethers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and connection. Furthermore, beer serves as a favoured companion during holidays or trips, as 43% of respondents opt for its refreshing taste while on vacation. Additionally, beer holds a prominent role during organized events or parties, with 33% of individuals reaching for a cold brew to enhance their enjoyment.
Mergers & Acquisitions Associate ESG & Sustainability
Ah, the glamorous world of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria – where businesses suddenly care about Mother Nature, humanity, and playing by the rules. It's like discovering that your favourite fast-food joint has started serving salads... alongside those greasy burgers.
So, picture this: ESG criteria have become the "it" thing in the business world. Companies are huddling around, trying to impress the cool kids by showcasing their newfound love for the planet, society, and being all "ethical" and stuff.
And let's not forget the grand entrance of marketing campaigns – the dazzling knights in shining armor here to save the day! Suddenly, every ad shouts, "Hey, we recycle a paperclip every week, so we're basically saving the world, right?" Social responsibility is as hot as a summer day in the desert, and sustainability is the new black.
Here's where the plot thickens. Enter "greenwashing" – the art of making things look cleaner than a freshly scrubbed bathtub but with about as much substance. These campaigns promise the moon, the stars, and a lifetime supply of organic kale chips, but they often deliver... well, not much more than a cleverly crafted illusion.
It's like a magician's show, really. You're wowed by the flashy lights and dramatic music, but in the end, you're left wondering where the rabbit disappeared to. Greenwashing paints a rosy picture of ESG goodness, all while the substance sneaks out the back door.
So, while the world eagerly applauds these virtuous endeavours, a sceptical eyebrow might be raised. Because behind the curtain, companies might just be swapping their plastic straws for paper ones and calling it a day. "Look, Ma, no more plastic! We're practically environmental heroes!"
But wait, there's more! Stay tuned for the riveting saga of how these campaigns often struggle to move the needle on actual ESG performance and why new EU regulations are making some companies sweat like they just found out their "organic" cotton T-shirt was grown on a moon base.
The siren call of impactful marketing campaigns – the knight in shining armor, the fairy godmother, the... wait for it... the superhero cape of the business world! They swoop in, promising to save the day, rescue puppies, and single-handedly end world hunger, all through the power of snazzy slogans and heartwarming visuals.
Marketing companies, those modern-day magicians, pull out their trusty wand (or perhaps a laptop) and weave a tale of transformation. They don't just sell products; oh no, they're on a noble quest to save the world, one hashtag at a time. #SaveThePlanetFromOurOwnProducts, anyone?
It's like a marketing potion – concocted with just the right blend of eco-friendly buzzwords and heartstring-tugging narratives. "Buy our organic, gluten-free, ethically-sourced avocado toast, and you're basically Mother Earth's BFF!" they say.
And who can resist the allure of social responsibility? It's like the golden ticket to the kingdom of public adoration. Companies scramble to be seen as the Robin Hood of capitalism, stealing from profit margins to give to the cause du jour. And let's not forget the PR value – it's like a warm, fuzzy blanket of brand loyalty that wraps around you on a cold winter's day.
So, here's the deal: these campaigns aren't just selling products; they're selling an image, a feeling, a sense of belonging to something bigger than just the bottom line. And who doesn't want to be part of a movement that's going to save the planet while making you feel like you're at the forefront of history?
But hold on to your kale smoothies, because while the curtain rises on this grand spectacle, the backstage reality might just be a bit... shall we say, different? Stick around for Act II, where we'll delve into the fascinating world of greenwashing and how the shine on those superhero capes might not be all it seems.
Greenwashing – the art of slapping a fresh coat of eco-friendly paint on a crumbling building and hoping nobody notices the cracks. It's a bit like the magic trick where you pull a rabbit out of a hat, except in this case, the rabbit might just be a rubber chicken dressed as a bunny.
Greenwashing comes in various flavors: first up, we have the Environmental Enchanters. These are the masters of making a landfill look like a blooming garden. They'll tell you that their paper straws are saving the rainforests, while conveniently overlooking their carbon footprints the size of Bigfoot's.
Then there's the Social Sorcery – those who make you believe they're single-handedly solving world hunger while serving up a side of unlivable wages to their employees. Who needs ethical labor practices when you can have a glossy brochure about how much you care?
And let's not forget the Green Marketers, the wizards of packaging who can turn a drop of recycled water into a tidal wave of eco-friendliness. Their products are all "green," even if their profit margins are the only thing growing.
Examples? Sure thing. Remember the oil company that suddenly decided it cared about baby seals? Or the fast-food chain that painted its logo green and declared itself the champion of healthy eating? It's like a parade of chameleons, changing colors to fit the latest trend.
But what's the price of this illusion? Consumer trust, my friend. Greenwashing has a way of eroding that trust faster than melting ice cream on a summer day. When customers realize they've been fed a diet of half-truths and glittering lies, it's not just a sale they lose – it's their faith in the authenticity of these grand promises.
And as for long-term sustainability goals? Well, greenwashing might give them a run for their money in the "lack of substance" department. Companies more focused on creating an illusion than enacting real change risk derailing genuine progress and setting their compasses on a path paved with flimsy intentions.
Stay tuned for the next act, where we'll delve into the realm of KPIs and see just how substantial these campaigns' impact truly is.
The Missing Connection – where marketing campaigns and actual ESG improvements play a game of hide-and-seek, and it's the consumers left searching for the truth. You see, it's like ordering a pizza with all the toppings and receiving an empty box – looks great on the outside, but where's the substance?
Let's dive into the Land of Successful Campaigns, where companies ride in on the waves of applause, thanks to their dazzling displays of virtue. They launch their campaigns with fireworks, fanfare, and confetti made from recycled paper, only to reveal later that the show was the main act, not the prelude to change.
These stories are like fairytales: companies claiming to save the planet by switching to LED light bulbs but failing to mention the massive emissions they pump out elsewhere. Or those championing diversity while their boardroom meetings resemble a family reunion with fewer relatives.
What's the harm, you ask? Well, let's talk about the Consequences of Confetti. When companies focus on the façade instead of the foundation, it's the actual goals that end up in the dark. Prioritizing appearance over substance doesn't just leave consumers feeling cheated; it's like building a sandcastle on a foundation of Jell-O.
Imagine a world where every successful campaign is a smoke screen for a lack of progress. A world where changing a logo color is hailed as a triumph for humanity. This disconnect doesn't just undermine ESG progress; it undermines the very trust that holds these grand ideas together.
Hold onto your recycled hats, because next up, we're unveiling the maze of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), where the numbers tell tales that marketing campaigns might wish to keep hidden. Stay tuned, because the plot thickens, and the numbers don't lie – unlike some campaigns we know.
The realm of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – where numbers don't lie and even the most eloquent marketing campaigns might find themselves at a loss for words. It's like a reality check after a grand masquerade ball – the masks come off, and the truth emerges, sometimes with a hint of embarrassment.
Let's embark on a journey to decode the dance between ESG-focused marketing campaigns and the KPIs that matter. These campaigns often waltz onto the stage, promising a symphony of improvements in sustainability, profit, and cosmic harmony. Yet, beneath the glittering chandeliers, data sometimes reveals a less harmonious melody.
Cue the spotlight on instances where the showmanship didn't quite translate into substantial changes. Behold, the examples where ESG campaigns marched forward with all the vigor of a parade, only for the confetti to settle and the KPIs to barely budge. It's like throwing a lavish party but forgetting to invite the guests.
So here's the truth serum: campaigns that fail to bridge the gap between marketing spectacle and measurable impact might as well be selling tickets to a ghost train. This is where the importance of authenticity shines brighter than the flashiest logo redesign.
Genuine ESG strategies aren't just about catchy slogans; they're about aligning values with actions, so that when the curtain falls, the applause isn't hollow. It's about recognizing that KPIs aren't just numbers; they're the heartbeat of a company's progress, echoing the harmony between profit and purpose.
As the spotlight fades, remember that long-term success isn't built on smoke and mirrors. It's built on a foundation of tangible, measurable change that reverberates through every balance sheet and resonates with every stakeholder. So, let's toast to a world where marketing campaigns dance in sync with the rhythm of real impact.
The Regulatory Theatre in the European Union – where ESG reporting and accountability take the stage in a drama worthy of Shakespeare. It's like a finely choreographed ballet of regulations and responsibilities, with companies twirling through hoops of compliance.
Picture this: a dynamic evolution of rules and regulations that cast a spotlight on ESG reporting. The European Union, always one for a thrilling plot twist, has been weaving a tapestry of requirements that demand companies to reveal their true colors, beyond just flashy marketing hues.
Enter the antagonist: new regulations that thrust a sword through the heart of greenwashing. It's like a reality-check sword that turns grandiose claims into harmless confetti. These regulations will have companies tiptoeing on eggshells – or rather, eco-friendly egg cartons – to ensure their practices align with their rhetoric.
Oh, but the plot thickens! The consequences of non-compliance aren't just a gentle tap on the wrist. They're more like a thunderous crescendo of financial penalties and reputational bruises that no amount of marketing magic can heal. The EU isn't just looking for curtain calls; they're looking for companies to walk the talk.
The stage is set for a regulatory showdown – one where companies must either step up to the plate with genuine ESG efforts or risk being cast as the villains of the sustainability story. The EU's script doesn't allow for greenwashing monologues; it demands a genuine ensemble performance of change.
Hold onto your playbills, because the final act is upon us. In this climactic resolution, we'll see how the tale of marketing's impact and accountability unravels. Will it be a standing ovation for authentic change, or will the audience demand an encore of accountability? Stay tuned to find out!
And there you have it, a journey through the colourful world of ESG marketing, greenwashing, and the dance between appearance and substance. It's a story of grand entrances, dazzling performances, and even some confetti-filled moments, but as the curtain falls, the echoes of authenticity remain.
Throughout our exploration, one resounding truth emerged: the gap between marketing's promises and genuine ESG improvements is as vast as it is glaring. While campaigns dazzle with their spectacle, the substance often wavers like a mirage in the desert.
As we part ways, the message is clear: companies must rise above the allure of quick fixes and embrace the grit of genuine ESG initiatives. The stakes are higher than ever before – with regulations tightening and consumer skepticism growing, the stage is set for true transformation.
ESG isn't just another marketing buzzword; it's an opportunity for companies to embrace positive change. Rather than settling for superficial campaigns, businesses are urged to dig deep and make ESG a cornerstone of their identity. It's not just about saving face; it's about making a tangible impact on the world.
So, let this report be a guiding star, a reminder that ESG isn't just a trend but a chance for companies to rewrite their narratives, embrace authenticity, and become agents of meaningful change. Let's replace the smoke and mirrors with substance and sincerity, and in doing so, pave the way for a more responsible and truly transformed future.
Remember to support your arguments with relevant data, case studies, and reputable sources. Good luck with your report!
Mergers & Acquisitions Associate ESG & Sustainability