Diageo Reports Good First Year Progress Against 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility Targets

Aug 11, 2016 12:45 PM ET

LONDON, August 11, 2016 /3BL Media/ Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, this week reported strong progress against its 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets with the publication of its 2016 Annual Report. Diageo made notable improvements in the management of its water efficiency, reduction of carbon emissions and waste materials as well as taking new steps to promote responsible drinking and agreed strategic partnerships with development organisations.

Key performance highlights include:

  • Decreasing GHG emissions in direct operations by 7.7%
  • Improving water efficiency by 12.5% compared with 2015 and by 38% compared with the baseline
  • Replenishing 21% of total water used in final product in water-stressed areas through reforestation, desilting of dams, water storage and safe water and sanitation projects
  • Reaching 380,622 people this year with responsible drinking messages through training programmes such as DrinkIQ and increasing underage education initiatives by 50% which are now available in 86 countries
  • Empowering 260,000 women to date through the Plan W programme, aiming to reach 2 million women by the end of 2016
  • Providing access to safe water and sanitation to 351,700 more people through the Water of Life programme which has helped more than 10 million people since 2006

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo plc commented, “Our sustainable development strategy reflects how the elements of our value chain are interdependent and how contributing to society, to communities, and to the environment strengthens our business. This year, we have made good progress towards our environmental goals, with some substantial gains in the management of our water, carbon and waste. We have also introduced a new target of procuring 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

We have also made significant progress in our aim to improve the role of alcohol in society and in our work to tackle misuse. We do this through our implementation of the Global Producers’ Commitments to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, an unprecedented partnership of the world’s largest alcohol companies coming together to tackle harmful drinking. As an industry, we are seeing good progress against the targets we set ourselves for 2017.

In the past two years we have recruited over 700,000 responsible drinking ambassadors through our training programmes such as DRINKIQ, Learning for Life, Diageo Bar Academy and Plan W, bringing us closer to our target of 1 million ambassadors to 2020. To further bolster our programmes, an interactive version of DRINKIQ was installed at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin which aims to deliver training on responsible drinking to around 300,000 visitors annually. We have also introduced the new Diageo Consumer Information Standards which came into force 1 July 2016 and will apply to all our brands; by the end of 2016 30 million Johnnie Walker Red bottles with the new labelling will hit the shelves designed to help consumers understand what is in their glass.

While our targets are set for 2020, our strategy is designed to support Diageo’s overall growth and performance for many years to come.  In the year that saw the launch of the UN’s Global Goals for sustainable development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, we are prepared for a future in which the only successful business models will be those that can demonstrate a positive contribution to people and the planet. For more information, case studies and to view Diageo’s integrated annual report, please visit www.diageo.com

NGOs and policy organisations are important partners to increase the impact of our community and environment programmes and engage a wider range of stakeholders.  This year, we signed a strategic partnership agreement with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) which, over the next two years will work towards reducing traffic death and injuries, and will improve road safety globally. We also created new partnerships with USAID and WaterAid – each with shared interest in our programmes and initiatives and working together we can achieve greater impact and added value.

Our packaging guidelines were refreshed in 2016 to introduce new guidance to support a circular economy approach and will be used by brands and our suppliers to support our on-going programme to produce packaging with the lowest environmental impact. We will also shortly publish our new Sustainable Agriculture Strategy to build on our long and mutually beneficial relationships with farmers and suppliers – this is a fundamental part of our plan to source 80% of our raw materials in Africa by 2020.

To make our agricultural supply chains environmentally, socially and economically sustainable we must protect the human rights of all those involved in our value chain. In 2014 we became signatories to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) which set clear expectations around monitoring and management of human rights throughout our supply chain, not just in our own operations.  As part of this, we have developed a robust and comprehensive human rights impact assessment (HRIA) approach with a toolkit to support our markets through a systematic review of their businesses to identify and assess potential human rights impacts. We conducted our first HRIA in Kenya in February, and as a result we are strengthening the processes we have in place to prevent risks in areas such as land rights and labour standards in agriculture. We will use the information we gathered from our Kenya pilot to feed into our global approach which we are implementing in all our markets around the world.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

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