London, 11 June 2012 – Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, has won the ‘Good Corporate Governance’ award at the 2012 African Business Awards. The event which is organised by Africa Business magazine and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), was held in London on 7 June and attended by more than 300 leaders from government, business and the diplomatic community.
The African Business Awards have, over the last five years, become a prestigious platform to celebrate business excellence and best practice, recognising the leaders and companies that are driving Africa’s rapidly transforming economies. Winners have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the continent, the economic empowerment of its citizens and the transformation of Africa’s image in international markets.
The Good Corporate Governance award recognises responsible business ethics and practices, transparency and an active policy to tackle corruption.
On receiving the award, Anne McCormick, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Africa, remarked that, “At the core of Diageo’s business and our values is the commitment to being one of the world’s most respected companies, with an earned reputation of integrity, fairness and good governance. This is a source of pride for our employees and is core to the long term success and sustainability of our business. As a leading business in Africa, we also believe we have an important role to play in working with other businesses, governments and civil society to build an environment where good governance is understood, expected and celebrated.”
Diageo’s comprehensive guidelines for business compliance, controls and ethics are enshrined in a global Code of Business Conduct, which is translated into 19 languages and observed as the minimum standard in all of the 180 countries in which the company operates. In addition to comprehensive training on the Code for all employees, Diageo has initiated a series of ‘Pathway of Pride’ workshops in its African markets; providing a forum for employees to share experiences, discuss the interpretation of the Code and Diageo policies, and translate it into the day-to-day working environment. Since 2010, all of Diageo’s employees based in Africa – more than 5,000 – have participated in the programme.
Diageo’s African businesses also lead or actively participate in innovative anti-corruption partnerships and initiatives, sharing best practice with other companies and organisations operating in their markets.
- In Tanzania, Serengeti Breweries Ltd (a subsidiary of Diageo) is leading efforts to build the Tanzania Responsible Business Network, which will focus on business ethics and anti-corruption and sustainability issues. SBL also shares best practice and guidelines on corporate governance with other TRBN members.
- In Kenya, East Africa Breweries Limited (a subsidiary of Diageo) played a lead role in the development of a Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya, launched in March 2012 under the auspices of the United Nations Global Compact Network, Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Kenya Private Sector Alliance.
- In Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria is signatory to the Convention of Business Integrity, part of a group of leading companies who share a common vision of zero tolerance for corruption.
- In Cameroon, Guinness Cameroun was one of the key drivers of the Business Coalition Against Corruption in partnership with over 120 participants from the private and public sector and civil society, including Transparency International and the Government of Cameroon.
Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa, said “We are committed to building positive relationships with governments and enriching our communities by maintaining the highest international standards of corporate governance and promoting good business practices. We are very proud to have been recognised in this way and I would like to thank all our employees and partners for their efforts in helping build this reputation.”
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About Diageo plc and Diageo Africa
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
Diageo Africa is primarily a beer and spirits company whose brands are sold in more than 40 countries in Africa. Diageo has a long established presence in Africa with the first recorded exports of Guinness to Sierra Leone in 1827. Guinness is a truly pan-regional premium beer brand brewed in over 20 countries throughout the continent and is exported to many others. Diageo’s businesses also produce and sell a range of local beer brands including Tusker, Senator Keg, Premium Serengeti Lager, Meta, Harp and Bell. Diageo is also the leading premium spirits company in Africa, and its great brands include Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Baileys and Gilbeys gin.
Diageo Africa employs over 5,000 people accounting for one in four of Diageo’s workforce worldwide. In some key markets it has built its own in-market businesses with distribution access to trade channels, some of which have listings on local stock exchanges. In other markets, it will look to partner with a local business, through licensing brands or through third party distribution. All of these companies have active community investment programmes, covering initiatives in water, farming and rural value chains, health, education and other areas of value to the communities in which they operate across Africa.
Diageo has recently published its report on its business approach in Africa. You can download it at www.diageo.com/en-row/ourbusiness/ourregions/Pages/Diageo-Africa
As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities in which it operates, enriching lives and contributing to the UN Millennium Development Goal 7, Diageo Africa created the Water of Life programme to support projects that provide access to clean drinking water and advance environmental conservation. The programme which was initiated in 2000 aims to benefit 5 million people by end of 2011, 8 million by 2015 and many thousands more through construction and maintenance of sites, improved sanitation and the empowerment of women. To date, Diageo has funded over 100 different water and sanitation projects, impacting nearly 5 million people in 16 different countries across the continent. Diageo works with international non-governmental organisations as well as local grass roots organisations to deliver water and sanitation through various types of technology including as borehole construction, water filters, rainwater harvesting and watershed management. Diageo selects projects that, among other criteria, are community driven, include capacity building and training for the community, address sanitation issues and empower women.