Diageo concocts 10-year sustainability plan focusing on positive drinking and diversity

International spirits company Diageo has unveiled a 10-year sustainability plan titled “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress”. Designed to make a positive impact on the world by 2030, the plan consists of 25 goals across three core areas: promoting positive drinking, championing inclusion and diversity, and pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability.

To promote positive drinking, Diageo has set in place a target to reach more than one billion people with messages of moderation from its brands. The company also aims to change the attitudes of five million drivers towards drink driving, and educate over 10 million people on the dangers of drinking underage through its alcohol education awareness programme “SMASHED”.

In the area of championing inclusion and diversity, Diageo pledged to have 45% representation of leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2030 as well as 50% of all its leaders being women. The company also said it will be providing skills and training to over 1.7 million people to help create an inclusive and thriving hospitality sector. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out for additional information.

Additionally, Diageo has committed to working towards a low-carbon future. It plans to harness 100% renewable energy to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its direct operations, as well as working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%.

As the first step in its net zero ambition, Diageo’s Scottish distilleries of Oban and Royal Lochnagar will both become carbon neutral by the end of 2020 and Diageo will aim to achieve net zero in India by 2025. By 2030, Diageo will ensure that every drink it produces will take 30% less water to make than it does today. At the same time, it will ensure that the business is using 100% recycled content in plastic packaging and that 100% of Diageo’s packaging will be widely recyclable.

Besides making its operations more environmentally-friendly, Diageo is also looking to give back to communities. It will deliver over 150 community water projects across the world, which includes providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Additionally, it will support over 150,000 smallholder farmers with farming techniques to regenerate the land and build biodiversity.

To work towards its sustainability plan, Diageo has launched “Sustainable Solutions”, a global platform that will provide non-equity funding to startup and technology companies, in order to help Diageo continue to embed sustainability in its supply chain and brands. Designed to support small companies and entrepreneurs in the development and commercialisation of their innovations, Diageo will share global resources and experience to unlock future potential for its partners.

Sam Fischer, president of Greater China and Asia Pacific, Diageo said it is more important than ever to act now to contribute towards a better world. “This new 10-year action plan will raise the game on further transforming how we do business. Our new set of 25 goals reflects our strong commitment to grow our business from grain-to-glass. This means working with our entire value chain to ensure that our people, our communities and the environment continue to thrive,” he added.

Diageo has been active in its sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts this year. Earlier in July, it launched plastic-free spirits in paper-based bottles, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood. The paper-based bottle is said to debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021. Developed in partnership with venture management company Pilot Lite, the new bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.

Separately in November, it tied up with China's retail giant JD.com in a three-fold partnership aimed to promote responsible drinking in China. As part of the partnership, Diageo and JD.com will collaborate to advance  global standards for responsible drinking, establish a code of conduct for responsible online alcohol sales with local industry partners, as well as promote alcohol education platform DRINKiQ and other educational initiatives and campaigns in China.

In Myanmar, Diageo has also partnered with WaterAid, an international non-governmental organisation that helps get clean water and decent toilets to communities around the world. The partnership supports the launch of a women-led project to provide access to clean water, improve livelihoods, and build stronger communities in townships of Yangon. 

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