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Empowering communities through an integrated approach

Our business success has deep links with the communities where we source, make and sell our brands - and for Diageo to thrive, those communities must thrive too.

Case study

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In India, where our bottling plants and distilleries are often in semi-urban and rural areas, communities can lack the basic infrastructure necessary for healthy and dignified living, while water is sometimes scarce or of low quality. We've developed programmes that aim to integrate economic, social, and environmental development, so that we simultaneously improve the water efficiency of our operations, improve the community's access to clean drinking water and sanitation, increase healthcare access, and bridge gaps in skills through education and training.

This integrated approach has the greatest impact when we collaborate with the community, their local elected institutions (Panchayats), government, NGOs and other community-based organisations - and it is illustrated by our work in Alwar, Rajasthan, where our distilling and bottling plant is part of a community of three villages which are home to most of our workforce.

By setting up Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) committees comprising mostly women from these villages, we aim to empower the community to participate in identifying and solving WASH challenges.

At the same time, by developing rain water harvesting structures, pond de-silting and better water management practices, our programme has generated additional water capacity of 125,000 cubic metres. Where once women had to walk to fetch water, now these villages have water piped into every home - enabling the villages to make and achieve a commitment to become 100% ‘open defecation free’. 
We've also supported women in the villages to remedy the challenge of limited access to sanitary napkins, providing training and support to a self-help group of 20 women to set up a micro enterprise to produce low cost sanitary napkins. The group now markets to more than 20 villages, generating income and improving sanitation for more than 5,000 women.