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Diageo launches ambitious ten-year sustainability plan

Published:  23 November, 2020

Global drinks giant Diageo has launched a new ten-year sustainability action plan featuring a range of goals involving environment issues, diversity and inclusion, and moderate drinking initiatives.

The plan, titled Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, is designed to align with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Diageo, which produces brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has set itself the target of becoming carbon neutral across its direct operations over the next decade. It also intends to work with its suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%.

The drinks behemoth’s Scottish distilleries of Oban and Royal Lochnagar will both become carbon neutral by the end of 2020, and it plans to be carbon neutral in India by 2025.

In related commitments, Diageo will also ensure that it reduces its water usage in its drinks production processes by 30% over the next decade, and ensure that it is using 100% recycled content in its plastic packaging and that 100% of its packaging will be recyclable.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer and president, Diageo supply and procurement, said: “It is vital that we act now if we want to maintain the wonderful world we all live in.

“I’m proud that we have already halved our own carbon footprint and that we are going to push ourselves further by becoming carbon neutral by 2030.” 

Other goals for the group by 2030 include having 45% of its leadership from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2030 and 50% of its leaders being women.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo said: “By setting both gender and ethnicity goals for the business to achieve by 2030, I believe we can truly break down barriers and help shape a more diverse and successful long- term business and society.” 

Diageo also aims to reach more than one billion people with messages of moderation from its brands over the next ten years, and to change the attitudes of five million drivers towards drink driving.