Publicis scoop four Lions for Heineken

Publicis Dublin was awarded four Lions at the Cannes Festival of Creativity for its Heineken ‘Unwasted Beer’ public information campaign – two silver and two bronze. With ten per cent of global greenhouse emissions coming from food and drink waste, Heineken Ireland was faced with the challenge of what to do with 19 million pints during the Covid-19 pub closures.

BBC News reported that the pandemic pub closures saw 87m pints of beer wasted in the UK. Dumping such massive quantities of beer would have been an unforgiveable act of environmental vandalism. What was to be done? Recycle the beer as fertiliser, animal feed, electric power or heat? As the campaign explains, Heineken reversed their business model.

Heineken Ireland brought back 250,000 kegs from pubs and the 19m pints were used to produce biogas harnessed through their combined heating power plant – enough to power 100,000 homes and heat a community care home. The recycled beer was used as pig feed. One of the by-products, digestate, is a nutrient-rich fertiliser for spreading on farms.

The Unwasted Beer initiative allowed Heineken to recycle 16.5m litres of beer, return €8m to Irish publicans and use green energy to heat 61,687 homes. The social media campaign resulted in 37m impressions. The slogan devised by Publicis was ‘When We Couldn’t Serve Beer, We Served the Planet’. Watch Heineken Unwasted Beer at




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