Diageo announces new sustainability targets

Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, has announced 20 new sustainability and responsibility targets, to be achieved by 2020, in three core areas – leadership in alcohol in society; building thriving communities; and reducing environmental impact. 
The targets draw on our achievements to date and are aligned with the emerging United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The targets focus on the areas of greatest material impact to Diageo’s business and represent an evolution of our approach to better measure and evaluate the tangible difference our programmes make to people’s lives.
At Diageo we believe celebrating life, every day, everywhere means to make the most of life – to be the best you can be at work, at home, with friends, in the community, and for the community. We want to always make a positive contribution to society, to create shared value, wherever we work.
Ivan Menezes, Diageo Chief Executive comments: “I am extremely proud of Diageo’s track record in social and environmental responsibility, including creating a positive role for alcohol in society. We know there is much more to do as we respond to the changing world around us. Our targets are stretching and ambitious. We are determined to focus our resources and creativity to really make a difference – and we are committing to better understand and report on the efficacy of our programmes, to achieve the greatest positive impact.”
The three focus areas of leadership in alcohol in society, building prosperous communities and reducing environmental impact represent an interlinked and holistic approach to understanding and managing Diageo’s sustainability and responsibility impact.
Leadership in alcohol in society
Diageo understands that the role of alcohol and its impact on society must be our primary focus, and over the last decade we have concentrated our efforts on advocating responsible drinking through hundreds of programmes across the world.
We will continue these efforts, with a focus on delivering the alcohol industry’s five global commitments to reduce harmful drinking. Going beyond these commitments, we will continue to create partnerships to support programmes to address harmful drinking with a focus in our top 20 countries. We will apply a rigour and focus to the measurement, evaluation and public reporting of our responsible drinking programmes with the aim of continually learning and improving our efforts to make a tangible difference.
In addition to our goal to equip and empower participants to make better choices through its programmes, our 2020 targets commit to creating one million ambassadors for responsible drinking, who will go on to become advocates for a responsible and positive role for alcohol in society long after they have taken part in a Diageo initiative.
Building thriving communities
We understand that our distilleries, breweries and wineries are at the very heart of the communities in which we work and that we have a responsibility to create shared value throughout our supply chain. Our 2020 targets commit us to further partnerships with local farmers and agricultural communities to develop more sustainable supply chains and raw material sourcing. Using comprehensive evaluation of the material impact our programmes have on people’s lives, we will strengthen and expand our established programmes which focus on providing safe drinking water and sanitation (Water for Life), skills development particularly in the retail hospitality sector (Learning for Life) and women’s empowerment (Plan W).

Reducing environmental impact
Every year Diageo produces more than 6.5 billion litres of our brands, from more than 130 manufacturing sites in over 30 countries. Recognising that the impact on the environment is not limited to just Diageo owned sites, our 2020 targets reflect the need to better manage water stewardship and carbon emissions across our whole supply chain. This forward thinking, holistic approach means that we will work increasingly with suppliers, striving even further to decouple the growth of our business from our impact on the environment.

Diageo has worked with a diverse group of internal and external experts in the development of our new targets for 2020. Sally Uren, CEO Forum for the Future, commented on the targets: “I welcome Diageo’s ambition to deliver a suite of long-term sustainability commitments in its key material impact areas, in order to make a real difference in the world. Diageo’s 2020 targets display a clear understanding of the need for collaboration outside its traditional business boundaries to tackle complex issues such as sustainable supply chains and responsible drinking.”
Appointment of Global Sustainable Development Director
Diageo has also appointed David Croft to the role of Global Sustainable Development Director. Assuming the role on 1 February 2015, David will be responsible for Diageo’s overall sustainability strategy. David is currently the Director of Quality and Technical at the UK retailer, Waitrose, where he is responsible for the quality and sustainability of Waitrose products and their supply chains.  David also heads the Waitrose Foundation and its multimillion pound development programme in Africa.
For more information on each of the 20 new 2020 sustainability and responsibility targets please visit Diageo.com.