Diageo Puts Its Values into Practice

May 20, 2019

Diageo North America, HRC, Guinness


Corporate buzzwords are easy to tune out. But actions can make a big impression, and our partners at Diageo have taken some actions of late which will have long-lasting—and positive—implications for people and the planet we share.

Guinness Goes Plastic-Free

Remember those plastic rings around cans of Guinness in multi-packs, and how they marred the otherwise perfect image of one of the world’s most iconic brands? Well, those rings will be a thing of the past, according to Diageo, who announced recently that they are removing them from their multipacks, which will now be sold in cardboard packaging. Additionally, Diageo is nixing the plastic from packs of Harp, Rockshore and Smithwick's beers, as part of a $21 million initiative from Diageo. 

According to reporting from the BBC, the change will be phased in over time, with the new packaging made from “100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard” by August of this year in Ireland, the brand’s home, and expanding to the rest of the world in 2020. From the same report, Diageo explained that while less than five percent of its total packaging is plastic, this change will still reduce plastic usage by over 400 tons per year. 

Oliver Loomes, country director of Diageo Ireland, told the BBC: “Managing our environmental impact is important for the planet and the financial sustainability of our business. We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at [Dublin's] St James's Gate and we are now leading the way in sustainable packaging. This is good news for the environment and for our brand.” 

A Perfect Score

Leadership is important, and in human rights, Diageo leads by example, which is one reason why the company earned its 11th consecutive “100 percent rating” on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Annual Corporate Equality Index this year. The CEI is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workplace equality, which is administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation each year.

Tara Hunt, General Counsel for Diageo North America, expressed the importance of the CEI in a recent statement from the company, saying, “This is a tremendous honor for Diageo,” and “our longtime partnership with the HRC and their Corporate Equality Index is a source of great pride, not only for our employees but for our consumers. This is the perfect way to live our company's purpose of celebrating life every day, everywhere and for everyone.”

This year’s CEI surveyed nearly 1,000 businesses on their LGBTQ-related policies and practices, such as non-discrimination protections, benefits for partners benefits for transgender health, engagement with the LGBTQ community, and more. The results this year, found Diageo’s efforts warranted a distinction as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

 This latest recognition is the latest in a long line of honors Diageo has earned though its commitment to diversity and inclusion in only the last two years. According to the company, that list currently includes:

  • 2019 – Diageo named in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index
  • 2019 – National Association of Female Executives recognized Diageo North America as a Top Company for Executive Women
  • 2019 – Diageo North America, in partnership with the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, announced its commitment to achieving gender parity
  • 2018 – Diageo ranked fourth in the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index
  • 2018 – Diageo received the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Award
  • 2018 – Diageo was the first beverage alcohol company to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
  • 2018 – Diageo North America was named to Diversity MBA's "50 Out Front for Diversity Leadership
  • 2018 – A division of Working Mother Media, Diversity Best Practices recognized Diageo North America as part of their second annual inclusion index
  • 2018 – Diageo named one of Working Mother Magazine's “100 Best Companies” for the tenth consecutive year

With these, and other efforts, Diageo is creating a solid reputation for quality products and practices, the kind which modern consumers want to support with their purchases.

Talk to your Breakthru Sales Consultant about how you can share these positive developments with your customers and introduce them to the full portfolio of Diageo products.

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