Business News of Friday, 16 September 2016
Source: Maxwell Atuanor Dwirah
Parent company of Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), Diageo Plc has launched its annual report which shows progress made in the areas of social investment.
The company began a new chapter in their approach to sustainability and responsibility when they launched their 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets. The targets aligns with 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Building on a long tradition of contributing to society as a company with strong governance and ethics, their new 2020 targets focuses on the issues that is central to the business creating a positive role for alcohol in society; building thriving communities; and reducing environmental impact.
Creating a positive role for alcohol in society
Diageo, which operates in 180 markets across the world, shares the goal set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of reducing harmful drinking by 10% across the world by 2025 in an effort to reduce non-communicable diseases.
To achieve the reduction, alcohol producers are measured on implementing the Global Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to reduce Harmful Drinking, including actions on reducing underage drinking, strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice, providing consumer information and responsible product innovation, reducing drink driving and enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking.
The world’s leading premium drinks business increased the number of underage education initiatives by 50% in 86 countries, compared with 57 in 2014. 84% of the top 19 countries assessed the effectiveness of their programmes, measuring increases in awareness or shifts in attitudes or behaviour. This year they reached 380,622 people, through training programmes.
Francis Agbonlahor, Managing Director of GGBL said our commitment to achieving the Diageo 2020 sustainability targets supports our ambition to be the best performing, most trusted and respected business in Ghana. We are committed to ensuring the responsible enjoyment of alcohol.
Like many others, we know this product can be misused hence our strategic partnerships to promote responsible drinking. Over the years GGBL has partnered with the National Road Safety Commission, Motor and Traffic Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service, Total Petroleum Ghana Limited University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry and various commercial drivers’ unions. This allows us to gain important insights and to positively impact more people with our programmes and campaigns on responsible use of alcohol.’
On underage drinking, the pilot campaign ‘Hit the Books’, reached more than 800 Senior High students in Accra. About 580 bar tenders and 33 retail shops were reached with responsible drinking and serving programmes, namely ‘Master Bar Academy (MBA)’ and ‘Think Twice Drink Wise’ campaigns.
On drink driving over 4,000 commercial drivers in 11 transport terminals were imparted with knowledge under the bespoke Twa Kwano Mmom programme.
These initiatives aimed at inching closer to Diageo’s resolve to reach 1 million adults with training materials that will enable them to become responsible drinking (RD) ambassadors. The signing of the Code of Commercial Communications to regulate the conduct of alcohol manufacturers also fulfilled Diageo’s Ghana business’ resolve to work with industry to market responsibly and provide consumers with the right responsible drinking information.
Building Thriving Communities
In the 2016 financial year, Diageo invested £16.3 million of operating profit to charitable projects that help serve critical local need. The Water of Life programme has reached more than 10 million people in 18 countries in Africa since 2006.
It is focused on access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in line with UN Global Goal 6: ‘Clean water and sanitation’, and is increasingly active in rural areas that supply raw materials to our business. Globally, Diageo provided access to safe water and sanitation to 351,700 more beneficiaries’ year on year.
In its Ghana market, the business provided 4 communities in the Awutu Senya district, in addition to the 8 communities of 2015 with access to safe clean drinking water, totaling 69,727 beneficiaries. These were all in cassava growing communities.
As part of the work on Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, Diageo aims to source 80% of their agricultural raw materials locally in Africa by 2020. In 2016 Diageo sourced 73% of agricultural materials locally within Africa for use by the African markets, compared to 70% in 2015. Guinness Ghana increased local sourcing to 48% this year and is well on track to deliver 80% local sourcing by the targeted year.
Reducing Environmental Impact
On Reducing Environmental Impact, water efficiency improved by 12.5% against a 2020 target of 50% improvement. The Ghanaian brewery giant also saw a 30% improvement in water.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) which is the amount of oxygen needed by aquatic life to survive, is measured in milligrams of waste per litre of water. Globally, Diageo ensured waste water discharged into water bodies were safer by 37.7% as compared to last year.
GGBL went further to a 41.7% improvement in BOD as against the 2020 Global target of 100% safe return of waste water. Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in Diageo’s direct operations reduced by 7.7% against a 50% reduction target of 2020 with GGBL improving this reduction by 18%. Lastly, Diageo aims to ensure zero waste to landfill by 2020.
The company currently stands at 41.4% reduction in waste to landfill compared to last year. GGBL had however achieved this feat as at 2015 and is in continuing effect.
Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Corporate Relations Director reiterated GGBL’s commitment to achieving the targets. ‘We are working to ensure that we meet all the set targets. As a callout we will continue to ensure sustainable sourcing of our raw materials locally and to show our thought leadership in promoting responsible drinking.
We look forward to more innovative ways of reducing our environmental impact. The 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets affords us the opportunity to give back because we believe doing good is good for business.’