The misuse of alcohol, however, can cause serious problems for individuals, communities and society.
For Diageo as a business, and for the men and women who work for Diageo all round the world, the social consequences of alcohol misuse are real and important. As a business, we know that alcohol misuse can damage our reputation, the reputation of our brands, and our licence to operate. And as members of families and communities, we know how its consequences can harm individuals and those around them. We care passionately about helping to reduce alcohol related harm in society, through our own programmes and through partnership and collaboration with others – and we seek to provide consumers with the information and tools they need to make informed choices about drinking - or not drinking.
We understand that different cultures have varying views on the role of alcohol, and some people choose not to drink alcohol at all. We respect this choice, just as we recognise that some people should not drink as a matter of their own safety and wellbeing, including children and young people under the legal purchasing age, pregnant women, people who cannot control their drinking, or those with specific medical conditions where drinking is not advisable.
Reducing alcohol-related harm
Following a United Nations (UN) political declaration on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target of reducing alcohol-related harm by 10% across the world by 2025. Diageo shares this goal: every one of our hundreds of responsible drinking programmes, partnerships and campaigns is in service of this.
Our programmes and initiatives are varied, because we recognise that alcohol misuse and related harm is a complex social issue, and that different cultures and societies require different approaches. All of our work, however, recognises that addressing alcohol-related harm is a shared responsibility – and we believe that by working in partnership with government, society, individuals, NGOs and other companies to put in place effective programmes, we can make a difference to raising awareness, shifting attitudes and changing behaviour.
Collaborating with industry partners is an important component of our efforts. Diageo is one of 12 leading global producers of beer, wine, and spirits taking action on a set of commitments launched in October 2012 to reduce harmful drinking. These Global Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' commitments are the largest-ever industry initiative to implement effective ways to address harmful drinking and build on long-standing efforts by the industry..
Beyond industry commitments
We are proud of the approach we have taken, over decades, to promote moderation and to help tackle harmful and under-age drinking. As part of our ambition to be leaders in addressing alcohol in society, we have set ourselves goals beyond our industry-wide commitments in our 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets for alcohol.
In this section
- Global Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' commitments - working with others to tackle alcohol misuse
- Responsible marketing and consumer information - promoting rigorous company and industry-wide marketing standards and providing consumer information
- Programmes to address alcohol misuse - supporting effective programmes with a variety of partners, which seek to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviour
- Alcohol policy - advocating effective, evidence-based policy which is culturally sensitive and does not result in unintended consequences.