Diageo pledges to be carbon neutral and improve ethnic diversity by 2030

23 November, 2020

Diageo has unveiled a 10-year action plan designed to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all direct operations and boost ethnic diversity in the leadership team.

Its “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress” plan features three key pillars: promoting positive drinking; championing inclusion and diversity; and pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability.  

Diageo said 45% of its leadership team will come from “ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2030, and half will be women. The firm will also provide skills and training to more than 1.7 million people to help create “an inclusive and thriving hospitality sector”.

Chief executive Ivan Menezes 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.”

The positive drinking campaign aims to reach 1 billion people with messages regarding the importance of drinking in moderation.

It also hopes to change the attitudes of 5 million motorists towards drink driving, and educate 10 million people on the dangers of underage drinking.

Diageo has pledged to use 30% less water in every drinks it makes as part of a bid to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

The Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness producer will also fund 150 community water projects around the world, and support more than 150,000 smallholder farmers with farming techniques to regenerate the land and build biodiversity.

It pledges to use 100% renewable energy and 100% recycled plastic packaging by 2030.

Diageo believes it can achieve net zero in India by 2025, and added that Scottish distilleries Oban and Royal Lochnagar will both become carbon neutral by the end of 2020.

Menezes said: “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.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer and president of supply and procurement, added: “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.”

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