London, 31 October 2012 – Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, has been announced as the Overall Winner of the This is Africa ‘Beyond Business’ Awards 2012 in the Large Company category. This is Africa’s ‘Beyond Business’ Awards aim to identify and reward businesses operating in Africa for the additional work they do to further development, by exceeding best sustainable practices. This is Africa is a Financial Times publication which explores the economic and political dynamics that are shaping Africa's growth, and the impact these have on businesses operating there.
This Is Africa recognises that Diageo and many other companies that operate in Africa have taken great strides to further social and economic development in a sustainable manner, often compensating for local administrative deficits by undertaking capacity building, and improving the livelihoods of the people in their working communities. The Beyond Business Awards, in their first year, serve as a pan-regional platform to recognise and celebrate these companies, as well as motivate and inspire businesses in Africa to uphold these ideals and integrate them into their short- and long-term goals.
On winning the award, Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa, said, “This award brings with it the recognition that within the private sector, Diageo leads by example when it comes to doing business sustainably. Diageo believes that doing good is good for business. All of our investments contribute to building a sustainable business and by so doing contribute significantly to the communities in which we operate. Diageo is able to demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship, supply chain management, agricultural development, community development and good governance. ”
Diageo was selected out of 31 final contenders from a list of approximately 1,200 companies in Africa or operating on the continent. Each company was asked to fill in a questionnaire, covering four broad topics on Environment & Resource Management, CSR & Developmental Impact, Employee & Supply Chain Management and Corporate Policy. Five judges marked each submission and the Overall Winner was determined by the company that had the highest aggregate score.
Some of Diageo’s key initiatives are detailed below:
- Diageo has actively supported 200 projects since 2006 that provide access to safe drinking water for people in Africa with a goal of reaching eight million people by 2015.
- Diageo employs over 6,000 people in Africa, equal to 1 in 4 employees in Diageo globally. Diageo’s people are critical to its success and the company invests in developing skills, building capabilities and embedding leadership standards.
- Diageo fosters an inclusive, supportive environment where all its employees are valued, recognised and supported in reaching their full potential.
- As the world’s premium drinks business, Diageo takes a leadership position in promoting responsible consumption and marketing its products responsibly. Diageo is committed to helping its employees understand the nature and effects of alcohol through communication and awareness programmes.
- Diageo sits on a World Economic Forum taskforce to share best practice for maximising the impact of the private sector on local sustainable development, whether that is connecting smallholder farmers with large, dependable, commercial markets or further developing strategic partnerships so as to make an even greater impact on the livelihoods of people living in vulnerable communities across the continent.
- Diageo applies rigorous international standards to governance, defining industry-leading codes for marketing, actively promoting and protecting human rights and freedoms in all aspects of the business. Diversity is valued and celebrated throughout Diageo’s businesses across Africa creating an open, empowering and safe working environment for all.
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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 6,000 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 2012 Sustainability and Responsibility Report which can be downloaded at http://www.diageo.com/en-ie/CSR/pages/resource.aspx?resourceid=1342
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 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 150 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 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.