Once a month, the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which covers alcohol-related health and policy research worldwide, reviews some of the alcohol category’s most recent Environment, Social & Governance initiatives. Here’s what’s been going on in April.

The Brown-Forman Foundation has set up a collaboration with organisations in the group’s hometown of Louisville in the US to advance educational opportunities from early childhood through to adult learning. The foundation has committed US$50m in funding over the next ten years, its largest investment since it was created in 2018.

Brown-Forman has also partnered with the Congressional White Oak Caucus to promote and educate US lawmakers about the economic and environmental support that white oak forests provide.

Staying in the US and Heineken has teamed up with Pharrell Williams’ non-profit ‘Black Ambition’ to provide funding and mentorship opportunities to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs across the country. The partnership, which builds on Heineken’s commitment to support the economic development and empowerment of underrepresented and under-resourced communities, will support Williams’ organisation through financial and event support, personalised coaching and a ‘Learning Lab’ series.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Heineken has announced that its Cork brewery is now 96% CO₂ self-sufficient, using recycled CO₂ captured from the natural fermentation process to carbonate its draught beer.

Over in the Netherlands, Asahi has commenced work on an underground pipeline that will provide its Koninklijke Grolsch brewery with sustainable heat. The facility has signed a new heat supply contract that will reduce its CO₂ emissions by 72% by using sustainable heat produced from non-reusable waste wood.

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Beam Suntory has partnered with the ‘How2Recycle‘ standardised labelling programme to assess and improve consumer recycling of its packaging in Canada and the US. The smart label system communicates recycling instructions on-pack, encouraging consumers to recycle or dispose of brands’ various packaging elements correctly despite being in different localities.

Elsewhere in the US, Beam Suntory employees planted 7,000 saplings in Kentucky as part of its partnership with non-profit The Nature Conservancy. The group has committed to planting 125,000 trees globally this year.

Heading to India, and Pernod Ricard has upped its efforts for a diverse and inclusive workplace by introducing measures aimed at creating a culture that enables employees to feel safe and thrive. So far, a third of the company’s leadership team in India are women, as are half of shop-floor staff at most of its manufacturing sites.

In Ghana, Pernod launched an Easter drink-driving prevention campaign in partnership with road safety advocates the Street Sense Organisation. The ‘Metwi a Mentwa’ (If I will drive, I won’t drink) activation featured visits to ten transport hubs around the country to educate 1,000 commercial drivers.

Diageo has launched the latest iteration of its ‘Wrong Side of the Road’ drink-driving prevention programme in Spain. Developed in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training & Research, the global campaign involves stories from real-life drink-driving victims from participants’ own countries. Diageo has combined the programme with its ‘Know When To Stop’ Social Media activity.

Down in South Africa, Diageo has confirmed the finalists for its tenth annual ‘Responsible Drinking Media Awards’, an initiative that aims to recognise media content that focuses on aspects of alcohol in society, including harms and prevention.

In June, Moët Hennessy is launching the first edition of the ‘World Living Soils Forum’ in France. The meeting has been designed to further accelerate knowledge sharing to support soil protection and regeneration in viticulture and agriculture at a global level. This will bring together experts from around the world, with scientists, researchers and participants from the food & beverage industries to share experiences and best practices.

In Greece, Carlsberg’s Olympic Brewery and local power brand FIX Hellas have transformed Athens’ historic FIX park into a green ‘oasis’ in one of the most densely-built areas of the capital. The redevelopment has changed the park into a meeting and recreation area for the city’s residents, with 4,500 pollution-resisting plants in a landscape that secures water savings and attracts urban birds and insects with water cans and feeders. The FIX Park was recognised with the ‘National Winner’ award in the ‘Green Cities Europe 2021’ competition.

Kirin plans to trial its new ‘bottle-to-bottle’ recycling model in Japan‘s Saitama prefecture in June with a demonstration experiment involving 190 Welcia stores. The scheme will improve the country’s low PET recycling level by encouraging consumers to return their empty bottles, which will then be collected and transported to recycling facilities by Kirin for manufacturing into new recycled PET beverage bottles.

Kirin has also joined the Ministry of the Environment’s ’30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity’, which has set a target of conserving and protecting 30% of the land and sea areas of the earth by 2030 and contributing to the conservation of biodiversity.

In Mexico, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Grupo Modelo’s ‘Empresarias Modelo’ (Model Businesswomen) programme has been helping to address inequality among entrepreneurs by providing 135 women owners of Modelorama stores with training, mentorship and financing. The project is part of A-B InBev’s contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering women.

A-B InBev also has launched several water-based initiatives around the world, including a wastewater treatment project at its Houston brewery that will save 100m gallons of water every year, a Stella Artois-sponsored NFT charity art project to raise funds for the nonprofit Water.org and the installation of new drinking-water systems in communities across Chile.

For further details on The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, click here.

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