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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.

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

We are focusing on these goals through rigorous programmes in our supply operations, and 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 the best approach is collaboration with others, including work with the Beverage Industry Environment Roundtable. 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.

Assurance

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. Towards these aims, we engage KPMG to provide limited assurance of certain impacts. In 2014, as in previous years, KPMG provided this service for Diageo's operational environmental metrics for CO2e, water, wastewater discharge (BOD) under direct control and waste to landfill. KPMG also provided, for the first time, assurance for 2013 carbon emissions associated with transport and distribution.

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.

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 2015, 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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