Water and the Environment

We operate in a world where many natural resources that our business relies on, such as fossil fuels and water, are limited.

As population increases and the impacts of climate change continue to constrain the availability of water, energy and agricultural raw materials, measuring and managing our environmental impact is not only important for the planet, it is essential for the financial sustainability of our supply chain and our business. We are committed to minimising our environmental impact across the full range of our operations, and we are working to extend environmental standards further through our supply chain.

One of our most critical environmental impacts of all is on water - fundamental to the lives of individuals, families, communities, and local economies, as well as to the sustainability of our business. As such, water stewardship is our highest environmental priority and this is reflected in the Diageo Water Blueprint which defines our strategic approach to water stewardship.

Our environmental policy reflects our aspiration to be a business which does not materially deplete natural resources, does not contribute to climate change, causes no lasting damage to species, habitats, or biodiversity - and wherever possible, improves the environment we operate in.

Our targets

To drive improvement, in 2008 we set ourselves a series of challenging targets to achieve by 2015 in the areas of water, carbon emissions, and waste. In 2009, we added commitments covering our packaging.

These targets were refreshed and extended in 2015 as part of the evolution of our overall strategy. Our new Sustainability and Responsibility targets for 2020 continue to be primarily absolute targets, which acknowledge that our existing impacts should be reduced in real terms compared to a 2007 baseline, regardless of the future size of the business. They also reflect our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our supply chain, beyond our own operations.

We are focusing on these goals through rigorous programmes in our supply operations, in procurement, with our suppliers, and by engaging employees through our GREENIQ programme. GREENIQ enlists employees as environmental champions for their sites and then supports them through online networking, a news portal and an awards programme.

Embracing partnerships

We believe that collaboration with others, including work with the UN Global Compact, trade associations and the Beverage Industry Environment Roundtable, is an important component in our overall strategy, helping us learn, define and share best practice on the way to achieving our goals. Since 2006 we have also disclosed our emissions to CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), an independent not-for-profit organisation which holds the largest database of primary corporate information on climate change in the world.

We have also invested in applied research at universities in Ireland and the United Kingdom, which is exploring novel approaches to achieving carbon-neutral operations and new uses for manufacturing by-products, and we are collaborating with other water-using businesses, development agencies, and governments to address water scarcity and broader environmental issues.


We aim to align reporting of our environmental impacts with what we believe to be the best standards for non-financial reporting. We believe in reporting against reliable data and strive to improve the quality of our non-financial disclosures, and we engage independent auditors to provide limited assurance of certain impacts.

For the latest information on our progress against our targets, as well as other environmental programmes, please see our Annual Report and Sustainability & Responsibility Performance Addendum.

Engaging people

Engaging our teams and our wider communities is a key part of our approach, whether to drive improvements or create greater awareness and advocacy. To help engage, inform and mobilise people across our wide-ranging environmental agenda, we developed our GREENiQ employee engagement programme. GREENiQ has been widely adopted, and is contributing to our progress by raising awareness of the need to reduce waste, energy and water use, as well as other environmental impacts, in our offices as well as our production sites. It promotes ways of improving our environmental footprint that our teams can adopt and develop, while also helping to share best practice and new ideas.

In this section

  • Water stewardship
    Water is our most important ingredient, but is also a precious shared resource which is coming under increasing pressure in many parts of the world.
  • Carbon
    Our long-term sustainability depends on reducing our reliance on the fossil fuels which contribute to climate change.
  • Waste
    By 2020, we aim to have eliminated waste to landfill from our operations. We're finding new and better ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Sustainable packaging
    The packaging that helps protect and market our brands has environmental impacts throughout a chain that stretches from our suppliers, through the retailer, to the consumer and beyond.
  • Biodiversity
    While we are actively managing our impacts on water, carbon, waste and packaging, we cannot lose sight of the other ways in which our business interacts with the natural world.

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