Diageo plc, London, announced a range of 25 goals in its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan, which is designed to make a positive impact on the world by 2030, in the Decade of Action to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on a long record of accomplishment of ESG progress globally, Diageo will focus its action over the next 10 years in three core areas, carefully selected to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): promoting positive drinking; championing inclusion and diversity; and pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability, the company says. 

"As a global business, we are committed to playing our part to protect the future of our planet and to leading the way for others to follow,” said Ivan Menezes, chief executive officer for Diageo, in a statement. “I am immensely proud of Diageo's sustainability and responsibility achievements to date, and this new, ambitious action plan will challenge us even further to deliver more over the critical decade to 2030."

The following are highlights from the Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan:

Promoting positive drinking

  • By 2030, Diageo will reach more than 1 billion people with messages of moderation from its brands;
  • Will change the attitudes of 5 million drivers toward drink driving; and
  • Will educate more than 10 million people on the dangers of drinking underage through 'SMASHED,' Diageo's award-winning alcohol education awareness program, now operating in every continent.

Championing inclusion and diversity

  • Diageo will build on its strong track record of inclusion and diversity by setting an industry-leading ambition to have 45 percent representation of leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2030 as well as 50 percent of all leaders being women; and
  • Diageo also will provide skills and training to more than 1.7 million people to help create an inclusive and thriving hospitality sector.

"By setting both gender and ethnicity goals for the business to achieve by 2030, I believe we can truly break down barriers and help shape a more diverse and successful long-term business and society," Menezes said.

Pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability

  • Diageo has committed to working toward a low-carbon future, harnessing 100 percent renewable energy to achieve net zero carbon emissions across direct operations and working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50 percent; and
  • As the first step in its net zero ambition, Diageo's prestigious Scottish distilleries of Oban and Royal Lochnagar will both become carbon neutral by the end of 2020 and Diageo will aim to achieve net zero in India by 2025; and
  • By 2030 Diageo will ensure that every drink it produces will take 30 percent less water to make than it does today and will achieve a net positive water impact in our key water stressed basins and communities; and
  • It also will deliver more than 150 community water projects across the world, including providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene; and
  • Diageo will support more than 150,000 smallholder farmers with farming techniques to regenerate the land and build biodiversity; and
  • By 2030 ensure that the business is using 100 percent recycled content in plastic packaging and that 100 percent of Diageo's packaging will be widely recyclable.

Today also sees the launch of Diageo's Sustainable Solutions, a global platform that will provide non-equity funding to start-up and technology companies in order to help Diageo continue to embed sustainability in its supply chain and brands. Designed to support small companies and entrepreneurs develop and commercialize their innovations, Diageo will share global resources and experience to unlock potential for both partners.

Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Diageo Supply & Procurement, said: "It is vital that we act now if we want to maintain the wonderful world we all live in. I'm proud that we have already halved our own carbon footprint and that we are going to push ourselves further by becoming carbon neutral by 2030. It feels fitting that we are leading the way with Oban and Royal Lochnagar distilleries, which will both be carbon neutral by the end of the year."