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Diageo empowers its communities through pioneering initiatives

 November 01, 2018

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Diageo India has received a Special Commendation for the Golden Peacock Award for Sustainability. This is just one example of the long-term value Diageo is creating for the communities with which they work. One of the main ways in which Diageo do this is through its investment in long-term, actively managed programmes that empower people and increase its access to opportunity: and Diageo want to ensure that it is making a contribution in the areas that matter. Diageo has identified three development areas where it can have a positive impact.

Entrepreneurship, employability and skills development

Diageo has a long-term commitment to giving people access to opportunities through skills, education and enterprise. Its approach has changed over the years, looking more and more at Diageo's entire value chain – from providing vocational skills in the hospitality industry in Latin America, Asia, and Europe, to working with smallholder farmers in Africa to increase their crop yield.

Diageo's Learning for Life programme provides training and skills in key areas related to its  industry and value chain, such as hospitality, retail, entrepreneurship and bartending and gives less advantaged people a genuine opportunity to become employed and become active, respected contributors to their communities.

Diageo's farmer empowerment programmes build on current partnerships with suppliers and farmers by giving farmers access to training, knowledge and technology to better the productivity and sustainability of their farms.

Health and wellbeing

One of the most effective ways to increase opportunities for individuals and whole communities is through the improvement of health and wellbeing. Improving water infrastructure and sanitation is a vital element of this and is a focus of Diageo's Water Blueprint, which defines the company's commitment to an integrated strategy for managing its impact on water.

Diageo's Water of Life programme has impacted more than 10 million people in 18 countries through more than 220 projects, including boreholes, wells, rainwater harvesting and domestic filtration devices.

According to Diageo, collaboration is essential to the success of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. So Diageo continues to work with others on the global water and sanitation crisis, where it invests first and foremost in countries where Diageo operates or sources agricultural raw materials. Diageo also makes sure that all employees in operations that are directly under our control can access adequate WASH facilities. Diageo were also the first alcohol beverage company to be part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development WASH@Work Place Pledge.

Empowering women

Diageo believes that when women have access to education and learning, their empowerment generates a powerful ripple effect that positively impacts the community around them. Diageo's focus on women’s empowerment reflects the vital role women play in economic development and the company's own goals on diversity, equality and inclusion within societies.

Diageo aims to empower women through opportunities to learn and develop skills to help them positively impact society, the economy and Diageo's business. Diageo is dedicated to workplace diversity for its own business, as well as nurturing the talents, skills and capability of the women who work in and contribute to its wider value chain.

Diageo's female empowerment programme Plan W is focused on four key areas:

  • Its company: creating a diverse and equitable workforce.
  • Its industry: providing targeted skills training to women in hospitality to improve their knowledge and job prospects.
  • Its communities: working with partners to train women in marginalised communities and support them in finding jobs and starting businesses.
  • Its consumers: raising awareness among consumers.

Diageo is proud to be the first alcohol beverage company to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Measuring our progress

Diageo measures its progress in these three development areas against the following positive impacts:

  • improving access to clean water and improving access to sanitation
  • promoting gender equality and empowering women/girls
  • promoting inclusive, sustainable growth
  • promoting skills employability and life-long learning
  • reducing poverty
  • promoting better health and wellbeing
  • promoting a balanced lifestyle.

Diageo's sustainability and responsibility targets for 2020 reflect the company's commitment and ambition to create thriving communities. Diageo's Annual Report and Sustainability & Responsibility Performance Addendum gives more information on how well Diageo is meeting its targets.

A flexible approach

Diageo knows that the challenges faced by its communities will vary, given its global footprint. So Diageo has developed a strategy that allows its businesses to work with local communities and partners on elements of any or all of our three development areas, based on which are considered most material locally.

Supporting local interests

Diageo also contributes to local charitable causes and disaster relief, especially in regions where employees and operations are directly impacted.

Employees from across the business give their own time and money to these causes, which may also receive contributions from Diageo. Moreover, many of Diageo's brands run programmes to generate funds for worthwhile causes, whether in response to natural disasters or to support wider charitable campaigns.

Make a difference at Diageo

Looking to work for a progressive company that makes a positive impact on global communities? Diageo is an innovative company that thrives on celebrating success and positive change. Search and apply for one of their many jobs today!

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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