Methodology and structure

The report structure is based around the three pillars of the European Beer Pledge, with pillar three then further split according to the four sub-areas highlighted in the Pledge. Launching the Pledge it was stated clearly that it would have to be underpinned by activities from national brewers’ associations and companies representing and producing beer across Europe.

Through the Beer Pledge all members of The Brewers of Europe committed to stepping up with activities in line with the Pledge, supporting the broad objectives of all three pillars. However, not all brewers or countries should be expected to carry out all identified activities under all three pillars, since this decision should be taken in light of the requirements and priorities on the ground, including the specific challenges to be faced, in addition to the capabilities of each organisation, also from a resourcing perspective. The cultural differences also lead to differing approaches in terms of implementation, with this report therefore covering activities financed solely by brewers but also those supported by a broader coalition of stakeholders.

This report relates to activities started on or after 1 January 2012 and those ongoing on between the launch of the Beer Pledge on 28 February 2012 and 1 December 2015. Included in this report are initiatives by associations and companies in the European Union.

The full definitions and criteria document can be found on the public website of The Brewers of Europe alongside this report. For reporting it was requested to indicate key dates, place of activity, objectives, target audiences, activities carried out, information on partners, and results, plus links and contact points for important further information. Reporting principles for ensuring report quality included accuracy, balance, completeness, timeliness and comparability.

Under the individual pillars, definitions and criteria were set by The Brewers of Europe according to which KPMG would
also carry out the assurance process. These included:

• Under pillar one, outlining examples of the different information platforms, the means by which consumers may be directed to such sources and the definition of expansion, both geographically and technically;
• Under pillar two, clarifying that the 7 Operational Standards (see May 2010 report on responsible beer advertising though self-regulation) remain the reference point, outlining how partnerships with digital and social media providers may be expanded, and elaborating on the tools for implementing this pillar;
• Under pillar three, defining the scope of activities covered, outlining some criteria for defining good practice (e.g. partnerships, third party endorsement, measurable indicators, repetition and replication), as also covered in the four toolkits

An essential element of putting together this third report was the involvement of KPMG Sustainability, who was requested to externally verify the report. KPMG Sustainability has reviewed the information provided and supporting materials in order to provide limited assurance on its content, ensuring that all significant claims within the report be backed up by evidence through a process that encourages rigour in monitoring outputs and outcomes of the initiatives undertaken. Additional interviews were conducted with some national associations. The rigour of this process has resulted in the removal of some claims and statistics that could not at this stage be substantiated with evidence meeting the criteria that are applicable when having information assured.

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