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Beam Suntory invests $1bn in sustainability plan

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory is investing more than US$1 billion in green and social issues as part of its long-term Proof Positive initiative.

Maker's Mark web
Beam Suntory’s portfolio includes Maker’s Mark Bourbon

Beam Suntory has set sustainable goals to go beyond net zero carbon emissions, cut water use by 50% and achieve 100% watershed replenishment.

The company will invest US$500 million to engage consumers to make responsible choices, donate 1m volunteer hours, create greater diversity, equity and inclusion within the company, and more.

Albert Baladi, Beam Suntory president and CEO, said: “Making a positive impact on the planet, consumers and communities isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s a must-do for the sustainability of our business and humanity.

“Proof Positive is inspired by Suntory’s vision of growing for good and represents a step change in our sustainability ambitions.

“Our quality products start with the blessings of nature, and we’re determined to give back to nature more than we use. We’re fundamentally committed to reducing harmful drinking, and we’ll increase investment to support consumers in making responsible choices.

“We’ll use our platform to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and leave a lasting legacy for our teams, community and our industry. Proof Positive is a critical roadmap towards 2030, 2040, and beyond for how we will positively impact the environment, our consumers and our communities.”

Proof Positive targets for 2030 and 2040 include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% across direct operations by 2030, and to remove more carbon than is emitted across the value chain by 2040.

Water usage for every unit of production will also be reduced by 50% by 2030, with an aim to replenish more water than is used in direct operations to water sources, shared with local communities and nature, by 2040.

The company will also plant more trees than those harvested to make whiskey barrels, with a pledge to plant 500,000 trees each year by 2030.

By 2040, the company will only work with suppliers that use sustainable methods. Furthermore, Beam Suntory will use 100% recyclable packaging and 40% recycled materials by weight across its packaging portfolio by 2030.

To create a more ‘inclusive and equitable culture’, Beam Suntory has promised to work to increase gender, racial and ethnic representation across the business, and to engage and support employees worldwide to volunteer.

By 2030, the company want to have 50% of leadership roles occupied by women, and 45% of positions in the US represented by racially and ethnically diverse employees.

It also aims to contribute 1m cumulative volunteer hours to communities worldwide by 2030.

To celebrate Earth Day yesterday (22 April), we looked at 10 spirits brands that are taking major steps to improve their green credentials.

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