We’re sending more than 155,000 cans of emergency drinking water to those affected by #HurricaneHarvey. Stay safe everyone.
That was a tweet posted by Anheuser-Busch on Aug. 29. A day later, the company upped itself by announcing it would use its logistical resources to send additional truckloads — another 210,000 cans — to the flood-stricken area bringing its entire contribution to 410,000 cans.
This is enormously generous. But that’s not the whole story. What’s interesting is how it did it. Did the company just magically produce 410,000 cans of drinking water overnight? No. The beer-making giant didn’t stop operations to produce these cans. It has been making them all along, all throughout the year.
According to a statement issued by the company, its Cartersville, Ga. brewery halts production of beer throughout the year for the specific purpose of making and then storing canned drinking water that can then be quickly distributed as soon as there’s a request made by the Red Cross.
“Putting our production and logistics strengths to work is the best way we can help in these situations” said Bill Bradley, an Anheuser-Busch’s vice president in a statement.
The company has been doing this kind of thing for years. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch says it has provided over 76 million cans of drinking water to aid disaster victims. Many companies, big and small, are pitching in to help victims of the hurricane.
But Anheuser-Busch is doing something different and has a philanthropic strategy that is worth emulating. Unlike most other businesses, this company doesn’t wait for a disaster to happen and then respond. Instead, management plans ahead and does its charitable work throughout the year by making canned water well in advance so that the water is ready when a disaster inevitably occurs. More importantly, the company is able to be philanthropic on its own terms, processing cans of water when — I’m assuming — production and delivery schedules can best accommodate the changeover to water canning from beer.