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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical and sustainable is Heineken? 

Heineken is included in The Good Shopping Guide‘s Beer, Lager & Cider Ethical Ratings Table. Heineken has not yet demonstrated ethical or sustainable behaviour that meets our requirements, but we anticipate that it will do so in the future. By submitting an application for Ethical Accreditation, which includes a more detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical development, Heineken may increase customer confidence.

More information on the issues that may be found in The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Lager, Cider and Beer brands.  Then, in our Beer, Lager and Cider Ethical Ratings Table compare it to other brands.

What do Heineken do?

Heineken began in 1864 and since then has developed into a large brand that owns many other brewers such as Birra Moretti and Amstel, more information on this can be found here.

Heineken was founded by Gerald Heineken at age 22 when he took over the Haystack Brewery in Amsterdam.

For which criteria does Heineken perform poorly? 

The Heineken brand performs poorly in our Organic, Vegetarian/vegan and Genetic Modification categories. There are no organic or vegan beer options provided by the brewery company and Heineken is linked to the use of GMOs.

Past Criticisms of Heineken ethical record

Heineken received a low score on the corporate transparency index which judges a company’s supply chain. You can read more on this here.

Heineken also scored D- on the As you Sow’s 2021 Corporate Plastic scorecard based on plastic packaging pollution. This looks at six main areas such as Packaging Design, Reusable Packaging, Recycled Content, Public Data Transparency support for recycling and Producer Responsibility.

In what areas does Heineken score well for its ethics?

For its environmental report, nuclear power, animal welfare, political donations and armaments, Heineken received great marks. The brand has a strong sustainability strategy in place that features specific long-term environmental goals, the beer brand receives a top ranking.

How can Heineken improve its Ethical Rating?

Heineken could apply for Ethical Accreditation for more detailed suggestions on how to improve. The Ethical Rating of a brand is divided into three categories by The Good Shopping Guide: the Environment, People and Animals. Find out more about how we rate and research brands for their ethics.

With the introduction of a line of organic or vegan beer, Heineken might raise its ranking and adhere to our ethical standards. The business should also consider ways to improve Heinekens’ public image.

Why not check out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation if you work for or with a beer, lager or cider brand that values ethics and sustainability within its brand?

Get in touch with our team to learn more, or complete our short form for an initial ethical evaluation.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating