Global spirits and beer company Diageo announced today the launch of ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress,’ a new ESG program consisting of 25 sustainability goals, aimed at making a positive impact on the world by 2030.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo said:

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“As a global business, we are committed to playing our part to protect the future of our planet and to leading the way for others to follow. I am immensely proud of Diageo’s sustainability and responsibility achievements to date, and this new, ambitious action plan will challenge us even further to deliver more over the critical decade to 2030.”

According to Diageo, the company’s ESG efforts over the next 10 years have been selected to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and will focus on three key areas:

  • Promoting positive drinking: Goals include reaching more than one billion people with messages of moderation from its brands, aiming to change the attitudes of five million drivers towards drink driving, and educating over 10 million people on the dangers of drinking underage through its award-winning alcohol education awareness programme, SMASHED.
  • Championing inclusion and diversity: Targets include an industry-leading ambition to have 45% representation of leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2030 as well as 50% of all leaders being women, as well as providing skills and training to over 1.7m people to help create an inclusive and thriving hospitality sector.
  • Pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability: Commitments in this area include harnessing 100% renewable energy to achieve net zero carbon emissions across direct operations and working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50%. The company has also announced that it aims to ensure that every drink it produces will take 30% less water to make than it does currently and to achieve a net positive water impact in key water stressed basins and communities. Diageo has committed to delivering 150 community water projects across the world, including providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and to supporting over 150,000 smallholder farmers with farming techniques to regenerate the land and build biodiversity. In addition, by 2030 the company has targeted 100% recycled content in plastic packaging and using 100% recyclable packaging.

As part of its approach to achieving net zero carbon emissions, Diageo has announced that its Oban and Royal Lochnagar distilleries will become carbon neutral by the end of 2020, and earlier this year the company revealed that it is building a $130 million carbon neutral distillery in North America for its Bulleit whisky brand, expected to be operational in 2021. On the circular economy front, in July, the company announced that it has created the world’s first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood, which will debut on its leading Johnnie Walker scotch whisky brand early next year.

In addition to its new goals, Diageo also launched today “Sustainable Solutions,” a global platform that will provide non-equity funding to start-up and technology companies in order to help the company continue to embed sustainability in its supply chain and brands. The platform aims to support small companies and entrepreneurs in the development and commercialisation of their innovations.

Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Diageo Supply & 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. It feels fitting that we are leading the way with Oban and Royal Lochnagar distilleries, which will both be carbon neutral by the end of the year.”