Diageo achieves zero waste to landfill target

10th August, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Gordon’s owner Diageo has concluded its 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility Goals, achieving zero waste to landfill at all production sites and offices, but falling shy of its water efficiency targets.

Diageo sustainability targets

While Diageo met many of its 2020 sustainability targets, it fell short of others

Diageo, which also owns Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, originally set its sustainable targets in 2008, and updated the goals in 2015. The 2020 targets were chosen in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Notable achievements include a 50% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the business and more than 99.5% of packaging is now recyclable.

Diageo also reported 435,000 women have benefited from the firm’s community programmes, and the company has also reached 229.2 million people with messages of moderate alcohol consumption from different brands.

However, Diageo did not quite meet its target for the quality of wastewater it discharges, with 90% of operational sites meeting its target. This was, however, within consent levels given by local regulators.

Furthermore, Diageo missed its 50% target of improving water use efficiency, delivering a 46.3% improvement due to delayed water recycling projects in Africa and lower packaged volumes in some markets, both attributed directly to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Diageo also found reducing the weight of its packaging “more challenging than expected”, achieving an 11% reduction against its 15% target.

Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer at Diageo, said: “As we close our 2020 targets, we are incredibly proud of the progress we have made and grateful to our employees and selected partners who have helped us deliver transformational progress.

“Through our programmes, we have made a positive impact on millions of people, in communities all around the world. We have been agile and moved quickly to adapt to the global changes around us.

“We are excited about the decade of action ahead and will continue to lead the way, driven by the knowledge that our future success is intertwined with the success of the living planet around us.”

Other notable achievements include exceeding its diversity targets with 39% of leadership positions now held by women, above its 35% goal.

In ‘water stressed areas’, Diageo has replenished 100% of the water used in its final products. Emissions have also been reduced by 33.7% across Diageo’s total value chain, higher than its original 30% target.

Diageo will outline its 2030 sustainable targets in the next few months.

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