IARD Members' ESG initiatives round-up: October 2022

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking's (IARD) 13 member companies – the world’s leading beer, wine, and spirits producers – undertake a wide range of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives as part of their commitments to sustainability and social responsibility.

AB InBev’s Grupo Modelo brand recently announced plans to implement AI in its new responsible drinking chatbot. Users in Mexico will complete a questionnaire about themselves, then the AI chatbot will send them personalized answers and responsibility suggestions, drawing on content developed by academic experts in line with the World Health Organization’s guidance (WHO). READ MORE

Meanwhile in the U.K., Budweiser has partnered with the WalkSafe app, which helps users plan a safer route home and encourages discussion about safety issues that disproportionately affect women as well as other vulnerable groups. READ MORE

In South Africa, ABI’s SAB brand has been working in partnership against drink driving for over ten years, when the brewer worked with the national government to develop alcohol evidence centers (AECs) to help police officers with arrests. SAB recently provided another seven new AECs, in Soweto. READ MORE
Asahi recently announced a 49.1 billion yen investment in its new Tosu brewery in Japan. The model facility for Asahi’s next-generation production system will use 50% less energy than its current breweries, and will be equipped with new CO2 capture technologies and other energy initiatives. Asahi will relocate operations from its Hakata Brewery to Tosu; the change in location will shorten delivery distances within the Kyushu region, immediately reducing carbon emissions in logistics by 30%. This is part of Asahi’s intention to produce zero CO2 emissions across its supply chain by 2050 and become carbon negative by 2026. READ MORE
Meanwhile in Australia, Asahi recently celebrated the 50 millionth beer created with solar power at its historic brewery in Abbotsford, after installing more than 4,000 solar panels at the facility in 2021. This is the largest solar installation in Victoria and is a major step in Asahi’s sustainability targets in Australia, which include using 100% renewable energy by 2025. READ MORE
Bacardi is phasing out plastic pour dispensers from its spirits bottles in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Portugal, to save 140 tons of single-use plastic annually. Bacardi has committed to being 100% plastic-free by 2030, and its next major step will be removing all single-use plastic from its gift packs and point-of-sale materials in 2023. READ MORE
Beam Suntory recently published a new Alcohol Responsibility and Sustainability (ARS) report on Suntory’s activities in Japan, including its latest “responsible drinking” ad campaign in national newspapers (and now YouTube), which the company has been running since 1986. Suntory has also enhanced its Drink Smart external seminars, which have trained employees of its business partners as responsible drinking ambassadors since 2011. Suntory will deliver responsible drinking message to 100 million Japanese consumers over the three years to 2024, via these enhanced seminars. READ MORE

Suntory has partnered with the international Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) to set a science-based target (SBT) to reduce environmental impacts in freshwater. In September, Suntory introduced a pilot study case that proposes challenges and solutions for capturing data on water use of raw ingredients in the regions where they are sourced. Since producing the study, Suntory has revised its "Environmental Target 2030" and is working with universities and other water experts to contribute to the creation of a global framework. READ MORE

Brown-Forman has been recognized in the 2022 Seramount Inclusion Index for their efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture where all employees can achieve their desired potential. Seramount is a strategic professional services firm dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Brown-Forman is proud of this recognition and continues to make progress towards its 2030 D&I Ambitions. READ MORE
Carlsberg and 11 other leading Danish companies recently joined to urge the country’s new government to keep prioritizing sustainability by supporting ground-breaking innovation and ensuring the right regulations are in place to kick-start investments. READ MORE

Days previously, Carlsberg had announced a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Better Energy to buy the equivalent of 46,000 people’s average annual energy consumption in the form of a solar farm of more than 70 hectares. The PPA contributes towards two targets from Carlsberg’s ambitious new ESG program Together Towards ZERO and Beyond (TTZAB), in which all breweries will be carbon-neutral by 2030, and all electricity will come from renewable sources. READ MORE
Meanwhile, Carlsberg congratulated former colleague Professor Morten Meldal for receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of click chemistry and biorthogonal chemistry, research milestones that were developed during Meldal’s years at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory from 1988-2011. READ MORE

Diageo has donated $1 million to the Miami Dade College (MDC) Foundation to advance the creation of a permanent endowment fund to support Hispanic and black youth seeking to access higher education. The partnership with MDC will further Diageo’s commitment to help shape a more equitable society by addressing structural barriers, supporting talent pipelines, and investing in colleges that are primarily serving underrepresented communities. READ MORE

Meanwhile, Diageo India has released its first ESG Reporting Index outlining the progress made in line with Diageo’s global 10-year ESG action plan Society 2030: Spirit of Progress. Diageo developed the index using globally-acclaimed GRI Standards’ “comprehensive” level and is focused on sharing the impact across three key objectives of the global ESG plan. READ MORE

Heineken recently announced two new solar projects that will support its “Brew a Better World” goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions in all its production sites by 2030. A new solar plant at the company's Midvaal brewery in South Africa will supply 30% of the brewery’s electricity needs, while a new €20 million solar thermal power generation plant in Seville will reduce fossil gas usage by 60%. READ MORE

In the U.K., Heineken has launched the latest version of its “Green Grip” cardboard multipack can topper, which has saved 336 tons of single-use plastic since its original launch in 2020. The new version has been trialed by chain retailer Tesco for strength and stability as part of a wider £14 million investment in support of “Brew a Better World” targets. READ MORE
Kirin has announced a new collaboration with drugstore chain Chiba Yakuhin to introduce horizontal recycling for PET bottles at all 117 of the chain’s Yaks Drug drugstores in Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures. The initiative will prevent PET bottles being mixed with other recyclables or garbage before collection, which will reduce contamination and make the process more efficient, allowing Kirin utilize the "bottle to bottle" approach to produce recycled-PET bottles for its beverages. READ MORE

Earlier in October, Kirin completed another agreement on horizontal recycling of PET bottles, this time with Kiyosu City in Aichi Prefecture. This is the first time that Kirin has entered such an agreement with a local government, and the scheme will allow for new bottles to be made from recycled PET, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 60% compared to bottles made from virgin PET resin. READ MORE

Kirin has set a target for 2027 of 50% of PET resin used in Japan being recycled PET, as part of its Kirin Group Environmental Vision 2050. READ MORE
Molson Coors began October by joining in relief efforts to provide aid to communities in Puerto Rico and Florida affected by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian. In Florida, Molson Coors delivered drinking water to Fort Myers and the Daytona Beach area, providing additional relief with a donation to the Florida Disaster Fund. Molson Coors also shipped drinking water to Puerto Rico to help communities impacted by catastrophic flooding and power outages. Since launching its water donation program Molson Coors has provided more than 2 million cans of drinking water to communities affected by disasters. READ MORE

Coors Light’s Líderes of the Year program, which honors exceptional leaders from the Latino Community recently marked its 16th year by donating $50,000 in grants to nonprofits nationwide on behalf of five exceptional Latino community leaders. Since the program’s inception in 2006, Coors Light has worked with more than 21 nonprofit organizations and donated more than $400,000 in grants as beneficiary organizations of the Líderes. This program supports Molson Coors’ core values of elevating diverse voices and empowering those who are working to make an impact on their communities. READ MORE
Pernod Ricard has unveiled plans for a new €250 million carbon-neutral distillery in Ireland’s East Cork, which will be connected to its existing distillery at Midleton, and should be operational by 2025. Irish Distillers will use a combination of measures at the original distillery to reduce energy use, decarbonise energy, and restore nature, and all fossil fuel use at Midleton should be eliminated by 2026. Globally Pernod Ricard plans to halve its carbon intensity and work towards net-zero emissions by 2050. READ MORE

Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard’s Absolut Vodka brand will become the first global spirits brand to move to a partly hydrogen energy-fired glass furnace for large-scale bottle production. This significant step to reduce CO2 emissions is an important milestone for Absolut Vodka in becoming completely CO2 neutral by 2030. Absolut will produce the bottles in partnership with Ardagh Glass Packaging in Limmared, beginning production in 2023.

And finally, Australia’s DrinkWise has launched its new Parental influence campaign: It’s okay to say nay. The campaign urges parents to be conscious about the role they play in protecting their teenagers from the risks associated with underage drinking, and has been featured on TVREAD MORE