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Responsible drinking activations around the world - The IARD Digest - May 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 recent weeks.

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

Diageo brought its 'Don't Drink and Drive' programme to Indonesia at the end of April, providing defensive driving training to staff in the country as part of an initiative to encourage responsible drinking attitudes. A spokesperson said the company is already "working with the government, policymakers, and other stakeholders" to inform the public and reduce harmful drinking. After the training, employees will influence their peers and neighbours with responsible drinking attitudes.

Elsewhere, the group's Guinness Ghana unit also ran its sixth 'Don't Drink and Drive' campaign during the Easter period, finding that drink-driving rates among commercial drivers have dropped since last year's activation. The National Road Safety Commission praised the campaign, saying "the NRSC is grateful for the support from Guinness Ghana towards road safety and calls on all and sundry to help in the efforts to make our roads safe and free from avoidable accidents".

In Vietnam, government agencies, social organisations, politicians, NGOs, alcohol producers and other stakeholders signed up to the 'Responsible drinking and traffic safety' programme, to facilitate active coordination as a means of reducing drink-driving. The National Traffic Safety Committee partnered with the Asia Pacific International Wine & Spirits Alliance and the Vietnam Association for Responsible Drinking to organise the proposal, building on three years of continued partnership in drink-driving prevention.

Heineken Brazil announced its new sustainability strategy and goals to support the socio-environmental development of the country over the next three years, with the inauguration of a new wind farm in Acaraú, Ceará. The farm has 14 turbines capable of generating 112m MWh a year, producing the equivalent of 30% of the company's electricity needs for its 15 breweries around the country. The brewer has a number of other clean energy units around the country, such as a biomass boiler that entirely powers its Paraná brewery, and plans to run 100% of its operations from clean energy by 2023.

In Belgium, Anheuser-Busch InBev launched its first beer shipping container, to transport beer by inland waterway between Liege and the port of Antwerp. Prime Minister Charles Michel attended the launch ceremony for the scheme, which will reduce the brewer's road transport impact by 5,000 trucks per year. In turn, this will reduce CO2 emissions by 30%. The brewer aims to "reach 10,000 trucks within two years."

On World Recycling Day, the Brewers of Spain reiterated its commitment to sustainability by announcing that the country's beer sector has adopted a circular economy model. This model establishes intersectoral agreements with other stakeholders in the production and consumption chain to efficiently minimise the impact of every single beer. Brewers' sustainability efforts are focused on promoting the circularity of packaging throughout the chain, promoting reuse and recycling and the prevention of waste disposal. The initiative also promotes the ecodesign of containers and packaging, and reducing the weight of primary, secondary and tertiary containers to reduce shipping footprint. 

The Kentucky Distillers' Association created its first environmental standards study with Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable. The two organisations partnered in 2018 to measure and report the Kentucky Bourbon industry's first set of energy, water, and emissions data, from 2013 to 2018. The report found that Kentucky distilleries' collective energy and water use ratios had consistently declined from 2013 to 2017, ranking them well below global water usage averages for distilleries. Nine of the 11 participating distilleries ranked in the top 50 distilleries globally in terms of energy-use ratio.

Returning to responsible drinking, and A-B InBev launched a new campaign in Brazil to encourage the conscious consumption of alcohol beverages, by reordering the letters of its beer brands' names on social networks. Skol, Stella Artois, Budweiser, and Brahma became Sokl, Sltela Atrios, Bwedusier, and Bhamra to illustrate the negative effects of irresponsible drinking. The switch was carried over to Brahma TV advertising spots during the first round of the Brazilian Soccer Championship, with the slogan: "Sometimes you drink and think everything is in order, but it is not".

On a global level, Beam Suntory started hosting nutritional information for consumers on its relaunched website. Its corporate website, beamsuntory.com, now redirects users to its drinksmart.com responsible drinking platform for brand information such as calories, sugar, fat and carbohydrates specific to a user's location, as well as other details such as alcohol content per standard serving. The new site will also share news relating to the producer's social responsibility commitments.

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