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Responsible drinking activations around the world - The IARD Digest - April 2019

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Once a month, the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which covers alcohol policies worldwide, reviews some of the industry activities designed to promote a more responsible role for alcohol in society. Here's a look at what's been going on so far in April.

Every month, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking looks at responsible drinking activities from around the world

Every month, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking looks at responsible drinking activities from around the world

Pernod Ricard has announced eight new social, environmental and corporate targets, with a target for achieving them of 2030. The 'Good Times from a Good Place' commitments are split into four groups and include 100% of the company's global affiliates joining a strategic biodiversity project to care for the agricultural land they use. The company has also pledged to make 100% of its packaging environmentally-friendly and to ban single-use plastic promotional items by 2025. By 2030, Pernod will trial more environmentally-friendly ways of distributing their products, reuse 100% of the water used in production, and halve its carbon footprint.

"We are 19,000 'créateurs de convivialité' - passionate hosts but also respectful guests on our planet," said CEO Alex Ricard. "Sharing our values, respecting our terroirs and promoting responsible consumption are all conditions for sustainable growth. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we will continue to create for the long-term."

The group is also expanding its harmful drinking campaigns, particularly its efforts in targeting students. Finally, Pernod is aiming to eliminate the gender pay gap by 2022, ensuring gender balance among its top management by 2030.

Diageo has also made a major equality pledge, becoming the largest firm in the UK to launch an equal leave policy for all new parents. The group will offer all its employees six months of fully-paid leave when they have a baby, whether biologically or via surrogacy or adoption. Diageo's new policy is reportedly the most generous out of the largest firms of the FTSE 100 index.

Chief HR officer Mairéad Nayager said: "True gender equality in the working world requires fundamental changes to a broad range of working practices, including a shake-up of the policies and cultural norms around parental leave."

Diageo also became part of the growing trend towards more environmentally-friendly packaging, announcing that it will remove plastic packaging from multipacks of Guinness, as well as Harp, Rockshore, and Smithwick's beer. The company will invest US$21m in the initiative, with a 2019 roll-out to Ireland and 2020 globally, which will see multipacks packaged in cardboard. Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev's Carlton & United Breweries have both recently made similar announcements.

In Russia, Anheuser-Busch InBev completed an eye-catching recycling project linked to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, building a football pitch in one of the tournament's host cities out of recycled plastic Budweiser cups from matches. According to the brewer's Russian division, "more than 50,000 cups collected at arenas and at the FIFA Fan Fests after the summer tournament have been used to create a new sports facility" in Sochi.

The Czech Beer & Malt Association (CSPS) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its drink-driving prevention partnership with the Czech police and the Ministry of Transport's road-safety body, BESIP. More than 38,000 drivers have been reached during the last nine years of the 'Are you driving? Drink non-alcoholic beer' campaign, with those who pass a roadside police breath-test being rewarded with a non-alcohol beer and a disposable breath-testing kit.

The second leg of this year's campaign will operate in music and summer festivals, where campaigners will demonstrate the effects of intoxication on driving with breath tests and virtual reality glasses.

In Chile, the Association for Responsible Consumption of Spirits (Aprocor) took its #MenoresNiUnaGota initiative to the Lollapalooza music festival. Ticketholders were invited to enter through doors marked either '-18' or '+18', depending on how old they were when they first tried alcohol. Around 86% walked through the underage door, to be greeted by a range of responsibility messages. These messages were also disseminated to more than 300,000 people nationwide through Facebook and Instagram.

In the Netherlands, the Foundation for Responsible Alcohol Consumption (STIVA) engaged with popular culture in a different way, by pushing the Comedy Central television channel to drop the popular US comedy show Drunk History. The show involves comedians and other performers getting intoxicated and then trying to tell famous historical episodes to camera. Several of STIVA's members have threatened to pull ads for their alcohol brands from the TV channel in protest.

In Romania, Ursus Breweries continued its 'From Trafic' initiative, a drink-driving prevention campaign that launched in 2017 as part of owner Asahi's involvement in the leading global beer, wine and spirits producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. Ursus originally launched the activation in 2017, introducing the FM Trafic radio station to promote road safety, commissioning a ten-year nationwide study on attitudes to road safety, and recently relaunching a smartphone app to help drivers monitor their blood alcohol level. The app was developed with the Romanian police and helps users to work out when they can safely drive if they have consumed alcohol. It was downloaded 4,000 times in the first three weeks.

South African Breweries made headlines with another police drink-driving initiative, opening a new alcohol evidence centre (AEC) in KwaZulu-Natal to bolster police traffic enforcement. The AEC partnership forms part of SAB's commitment to "making a positive impact on society and to do as much as possible to help change behaviour".

The brewer developed the concept of AECs in collaboration with provincial authorities and industry experts. The centres have successfully contributed to improving drink-driving conviction and offending rates around the country since their introduction in 2011.

The new centre's opening has been timed to coincide with the Department of Transport's Easter prevention campaign, which this year will also see the police equipped with new Evidentiary Breathalyser Alcohol Testing (EBAT) system.

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