Diageo is a global leader in the beverage sector, with iconic brands in spirits and beer. Their brands are produced from more than 150 sites in over 30 countries. A third of the volume produced from Diageo sites is from operations based in water stressed areas, and as a drinks company, water is an essential resource for Diageo, with its careful management a top business priority. The Diageo Water Blueprint sets out the company’s strategic approach to water stewardship, and commits Diageo to increasing its efforts to address global water challenges through their own operations, in the souring of raw materials, in the communities in which they operate, and through local and global advocacy.
The company’s Water of Life Programme was originally established as a philanthropic programme by Diageo in Africa, as they looked to differentiate their businesses and motivate their employees. Given the company’s presence in Africa, where the WASH challenge is most pressing, the company committed to help a million people a year through improved water supply and sanitation. As the Water of Life programme and implementation of the Blueprint have evolved, understanding of the water risks faced by the company and its stakeholders has deepened. In particular, external evaluation of its work in Ghana and application of the Alliance for Water Stewardship standard in Tanzania have confirmed that focusing efforts to improve WASH for communities within the Diageo upstream supply chain can deliver operational and business benefits which go far beyond ‘feel good’ philanthropy. The company’s approach to WASH has therefore evolved from being part of Corporate Social Responsibility to an essential element of sustainability within the value chain.
See the Corporate engagement on water supply, sanitation and hygiene report