Corporate Social Responsibility activations around the world – The IARD Digest – February 2021 –


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Once a month, the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which covers alcohol policies worldwide, reviews some of the alcohol industry’s recent CSR and environmental activities. Here, a little later than planned, is a look at what’s been going on in recent weeks.

Once a month, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking rounds up recent higher-profile CSR and environmental activities from drinks brand owners

Once a month, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking rounds up recent higher-profile CSR and environmental activities from drinks brand owners

In South Africa, Diageo recently relaunched it’s online ‘DrinkIQ’ resource as part of a responsibility drive, providing consumers with updated information on alcohol. The group paired with a national prevention organisation and a radio personality to launch the campaign, citing the importance of tackling harmful drinking after the country’s recent COVID-19 lockdowns.

Diageo has also launched a version of DrinkIQ in China, as part of its new responsibility partnership with, China’s largest retailer. The ‘Drinking Wisdom’ app provides users with information on responsible drinking, with a particular focus on preventing underage drinking, drink-driving, and excessive drinking.

Diageo also announced a US$10m commitment to 25 HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) across the US, to create endowments to help colleges financially assist students. The company will also create innovation hubs at some of the colleges, providing students with experience, mentorships and guest lecturers as well as helping faculty developing curriculum. The funding comes from a $20m fund set aside in 2020 to address the needs of black communities and businesses.

Molson Coors participated in February’s ‘Black History Month’, posting a video campaign across Social Media. In the US, the company sponsored the Milwaukee Film Festival’s Black History Month programming, featuring films that elevate black voices and experiences.

In Canada, Molson Coors is a signatory of the BlackNorth Initiative’s pledge to take steps to end systemic racism within workplaces and power structures. Last week, the group supported BlackNorth Talks: a virtual speaker series addressing the common impact of racism and how to collectively create safer, more inclusive communities.

Pernod Ricard is focusing on its “return on responsibility” this year with a series of new campaigns and changes planned for 2021, as well as pursuing its ambitious 2030 sustainability and responsibility roadmap. Looking back on 2020, Pernod undertook efforts in the areas of social justice, diversity, philanthropy and sustainability, and plans to continue with its new perspective and partnerships to return on responsibility as well as investment.

One of the first of this year’s projects is EducateAll, a free online learning platform that will cover all aspects of sustainable and responsible practices for bartenders.

Carlsberg recently published its latest sustainability report, in which the brewer confirmed a reduction of its carbon emissions by 39% since 2015, ahead of its target of reducing emissions by half by 2022. The group’s ‘Together Towards Zero’ strategy also plans for zero coal use at breweries and a 15% reduction in total value chain carbon emissions by 2022. By 2030, the goal is zero water waste or carbon emissions at breweries, and a 30% drop in value chain emissions.

Suntory has lined up a partnership in Japan with NGO Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) to take a leadership role in promoting water stewardship in the country. Suntory and AWS will support Japan’s business leaders to better understand the importance of water through activities such as awareness-building campaigns, creating a Japanese-language version of the AWS Standard, and AWS training and capacity building programs.

In Australia, Asahi announced that construction has begun on what will be the country’s largest PET recycling plant, in Albury-Wodonga. Asahi’s project will recycle the equivalent of 1bn 60cl PET plastic bottles in raw plastic material every year, while increasing the amount of locally-sourced and recycled PET produced in Australia by two-thirds.

In Puerto Rico, Bacardi was awarded Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) Conservation Certification in recognition of its environmental stewardship moves and for driving awareness of the role of pollinator gardens in building a healthy ecosystem. Bacardi recently doubled the size of the pollinator garden for bats, bees and butterflies at its production facilities outside San Juan, providing a year-round food source for monarch butterflies, honeybees, Antillean fruit bats and several other species. Bacardi received the first WHC certification ever presented to an organisation in Puerto Rico in 2018, and the more recent award is Bacardi’s second.

Meanwhile, Lion New Zealand became the first major beverage producer in the country to be ‘Toitu carbonzero’ certified. Lion undertook an extensive company audit through a partnership with Toitu to accurately gauge its greenhouse gas emissions and make plans to manage its carbon footprint each year. Lion established a ‘whole family’ carbon reduction approach across its production and retail sites and invested in verified carbon credits from two offsetting initiatives for when emissions cannot be reduced. Two of the brewer’s brands have subsequently achieved carbon-zero certification for their entire product life cycle.

And in Chile, Cervecería Anheuser-Busch InBev launched a new water security project for around 3,500 people living under water stress in Quilicura and Til Til. Around 1.4m people in the country live in households without basic sanitation, and more than 360,000 households obtain water from sources other than the public network. The Agua Segura Project will provide access to clean drinking water through a plasma sanitation system, which incorporates oxidizing agents, electric fields and shock waves to kill 100% of bacteria and viruses that accumulate in the water containers during transit.

The initiative is part of A-B InBev’s sustainability goals for 2025 and part of a wider project that has so far supplied 1.7bn people worldwide with access to drinking water.

For further details on The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, click here

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