Carlton & United Breweries
Beverage manufacturing
Founded in 1903 and Australian owned for over 100 years before being acquired by SABMiller in 2011, who became part of AB InBev in 2017. Then in 2020 Japanese beer giant Asahi took over ownership. Asahi combined CUB with its own drinks portfolio to create Australia's largest beverages company.

Overall

Owned JPN
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

CUB Pty Ltd
AUS
Asahi Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd
owns 100% of CUB Pty Ltd
AUS
Holding company
Asahi Beverages formed in 2014 when the company announced plans to integrate the operations of Schweppes Australia, Asahi Premium Beverages and Independent Liquor NZ. Asahi acquired Schweppes in 2009, and Independent Liquor, Charlie's Group, and the juice and water business of Australia's P&N Beverages in 2011. Bought Carlton & United Breweries in 2020.
Asahi Group Holdings Ltd
owns 100% of Asahi Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd
JPN
Drinks, especially alcoholic
Japan's largest brewer, Asahi also has a large market share in many European countries. Asahi has become a major player in Australasia after several acquisitions including Schweppes Australia in 2009, NZ's Independent Liquor and Charlie's Group in 2011, and Carlton & United Breweries in 2020.

Company Assessment

CUB Pty Ltd
Praise
Greenpeace's Reenergise campaign ranks Australia's biggest electricity using companies on their commitments and actions regarding renewable energy use. This company has: committed to powering their operations by 100% renewable electricity by 2030; signed at least one power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy power from a wind or solar project; invested in on-site solar.
Information
This company has been criticised for leveraging the popularity of the AFL and NRL to market their alcohol brands to kids. Of the four foreign-owned alcohol companies that have stitched-up the majority of alcohol advertising deals with the AFL and NRL, Carlton & United Breweries has the most advertising deals.
Source: Fare (2019)
This company has been criticised for offensive advertising. In 2016 the Advertising Standards Bureau upheld complaints about a cinema ad by this company on the grounds that it breached advertising codes. The ad was an image that showed a hand offering a beer to a kangaroo who was reaching out to hold it and the caption 'Kangabrew'. The ad was subsequently discontinued or modified.
55 maintenance workers at this company's Abbotsford plant were sacked in 2016 and then told they could reapply for their jobs if they accepted worse conditions and pay cuts of up to 65%. The action has sparked industrial action, community protest, public outcry and boycott calls.
This company has been criticised for offensive advertising. In 2018 the Advertising Standards Bureau upheld complaints about an ad by this company on the grounds that they breached advertising codes. The ads were subsequently discontinued or modified. The ad made fun of people with ginger hair and portrayed them in an inferior manner.
According to the democracyforsale.net website, this company donated $179,013 to Australia's major political parties between 2012 and 2018, as disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commision (AEC).
In 2014 CUB was fined $20,400 and provided an undertaking to the ACCC for representing that its Byron Bay Pale Lager was brewed by a small brewer in Byron Bay when this wasn't so. CUB agreed to cease distribution of product with the misleading labelling, and place corrective notices.
This company is Australia's largest cider producer. Most of the apple concentrate used to make this cider is imported from China.
Source: ABC (2015)
Between 2013 and 2017 (when owned by SABMiller) this company paid zero tax on a total income of $8.7 billion, earning the number 20 spot on Michael West's Top 40 Tax Dodgers 2019. West calculated which of Australia's largest companies have paid the least tax, or no tax, on the highest incomes using four years of tax transparency data published by the Australian Tax Office. In 2020 CUB was sold to Asahi.
Company retails, manufactures or distributes products that are certified organic under the Australian Certified Organic label.
Source: ACO (2022)
In March 2018 CUB announced it will source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables, after signing a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with German renewable energy developer, service provider and wholesaler, BayWa r.e.
This company makes voluntary contributions to DrinkWise Australia, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2005 by the alcohol industry, whose stated goal is to help bring about a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia.
This company has sustainability claims on its website under the headings climate action, circular packaging, water stewardship, smart agriculture, communities and responsible drinking.
Directly involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol as a core business.
Asahi Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd
Praise
This company received a packaging performance level of 4 (Leading) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice).
Source: APCO (2024)
Information
Victorian farmer Tim Carey successfully applied to change the source of 19 million litres of his existing licence from surface water to groundwater, and from agricultural to commercial purposes. This allowed him to truck the water to a bottling plant run by Mountain H2O, owned by Asahi. In 2018 residents of Stanley, Victoria, lost a four-year court battle to stop the farmer bottling local groundwater for Asahi. The residents were left with a A$90,000 bill for legal costs.
In 2013 Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia (part of Asahi Beverages) and Lion Pty Ltd filed proceedings in the Federal Court challenging the legal validity of the Northern Territory's Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). Other large bottlers like Fosters and Diageo have not joined the court case. A CDS has been proven worldwide to be the best way to increase collection and recycling. The Boomerang Alliance estimates a CDS would increase recovery by 80%.
Greenpeace's Reenergise campaign ranks Australia's biggest electricity using companies on their commitments and actions regarding renewable energy use. This company has committed to powering their operations by 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and invested in on-site solar. However they have not signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy power from a wind or solar project.
Phoenix Organics soft drinks and juices are certified organic by BioGro, and Mountain Goat beer has an organic option. However these only represent a tiny fraction of this company's total beverage sales.
Source: ACO (2022)
This company has responsibility claims on its website under the headings environment, beverages & health, and people & society.
Directly involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol as a core business.
Asahi Group Holdings Ltd
Praise
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of A.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of A-.
Source: CDP (2023)
World's Most Sustainable Companies of 2024 by TIME and Statista recognises the Top 500 most sustainable companies in the world. From a selection of 5,000 of the world's largest companies, non-sustainable businesses were excluded, and the remaining companies were rated on Commitment & Ratings, Reporting & Transparency, and Environmental & Social Stewardship. This company received a total score of 65.4/100, ranking 181st overall.
Source: TIME (2024)
Criticism
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 16.1/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Poor" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 19.8%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #85/112, with a total score of 15.2%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 38/100 in the Beverages category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 18 Nov 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Information
In Nov 2011 Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) recertified Asahi's Shobara and Miyoshi forests in Japan to the Forest Stewardship Council's standard for responsible forest management. Asahi bought the forested properties during World War II. They have been FSC certified since 2001.
Source: SCS (2011)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company holds Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Certification, and sells products packaged in materials certified as FSC Recycled and FSC Mix.
Source: FSC (2023)
This company is a member of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing harmful drinking and promoting understanding of responsible drinking. IARD is affiliated with the United Nations.
Source: IARD (2021)
The United Nations Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of 10 values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption. However it's non-binding nature has been widely criticised, and many signatory corporations continue to violate the Compact's values.
Activities include reducing CO2 emissions, FSC certified forest management, and donations to environmental protection schemes.
Asahi Breweries is developing 'high-biomass sugarcane' or 'Monster Cane', designed to produce ethanol without sacrificing sugar output. Could be seen as a positive as ethanol is carbon-neutral with CO2 released in the combustion of the fuel offset by the CO2 captured by plants through photosynthesis. Critics also say ethanol is no solution to global warming if massive inputs of fossil fuels are required to grow the crops and power the facilities used to produce ethanol and land is taken from suppling crops for food and feed.
Directly involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol as a core business.
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #71/350, with a total score of 28/100.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary
Founded:
1903
Revenue:
2.2 billion AUD (2019)
Employees:
1,230 (2019)
Subsidiaries:
Cascade Brewery Company Pty Ltd
Brewer
Cascade Brewery was established in 1832 in South Hobart, Tasmania and is the oldest continually operating brewery in Australia. Acquired by CUB in 1993.
Asahi Premium Beverages Pty Ltd
Beverages
Alcoholic beverages company which began in New Zealand in 1987 as Independent Liquor (NZ) Ltd. Acquired by Asahi Group in 2011 and renamed Asahi Premium Beverages in 2013. In 2020 Asahi acquired Carlton & United Breweries from AB InBev and merged it with Asahi Premium Beverages.
Matilda Bay Brewing Company Pty Ltd
Brewery
Founded in Western Australia in 1984. Acquired by Carlton & United Breweries in the early 1990's.
4 Pines Brewing Company
Brewery
Founded in 2008 and acquired by AB InBev in 2017, who sold their Australian operations, including 4 Pines, to Asahi in 2020.
Pirate Life Brewing Pty Ltd
Craft brewery
Established in South Australia in 2014. Acquired by AB InBev in Dec 2017, who sold their Australian operations, including Pirate Life, to Asahi in 2020.
Mountain Goat Beer Pty Ltd
Craft brewery
Founded in 1996 by Cam Hines and Dave Bonighton, who continue to manage the company. Their beer is brewed in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond. Acquired by Asahi in Sept 2015.

Contact Details

Address:
77 Southbank Blvd, Southbank, VIC, 3006, Australia
Phone:
03 9633 2000
Website:
www.cub.com.au

Products / Brands

Carlton & United Breweries
Abbotsford Beer
Asahi Super Dry Beer
Balter Beer
Beez Neez Beer
Black Douglas Premix Spirits
Bulmers Cider
Carlton Beer
Carlton Zero Non-Alcoholic
Cascade Beer
Castle Beer
Continental Liqueurs Liqueur
Cougar Premix Spirits
Coyote Tequila
Crown Beer
Dirty Granny Cider
Empire Beer
Fat Yak Beer
Foster's Beer
Great Northern Beer
Great Northern Zero Non-Alcoholic
Green Beacon Beer
Karloff Vodka
Kent Old Brown Beer
Kirov Vodka
Lazy Yak Beer
Light Ice Beer
Matilda Bay Beer
Melbourne Bitter Beer
Mercury Cider
Mountain Goat Beer
Never Never Gin
Nikka Whisky (other)
Peroni Beer
Pirate Life Beer
Power's Beer
Prince Albert's Gin
Pure Blonde Beer
Pure Blonde Cider
Redback Beer
Resch's Beer
Sheaf Stout Beer
Spring Cider Co Cider
Sungazer Beer
VB Beer
Vodka Cruiser Premix Spirits
Wild Yak Beer
Woodstock Bourbon
Woodstock Premix Spirits
Carlton & United Breweries / Pernod Ricard (supplier)
Black Douglas Scotch Whisky
Chatelle Napoleon Brandy
Cougar Bourbon
Carlton & United Breweries / Carlsberg (brand owner)
Somersby Cider
4 Pines
4 Pines Beer
Brookvale Union Seltzer
Brookvale Union Premix Spirits