Diageo shows support for reducing alcohol-related harm

As part of its involvement to the global efforts towards reducing alcohol-related harm, Diageo, parent company of Guinness Nigeria Plc have embraced the release of the latest Producers’ Commitments Report by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). The report shows that alcoholic beverage companies who committed to the implementation have raised their commitments to contribute to the global target of reducing alcohol related harm by 10% by 2025.

Diageo is one of the leading producers of alcoholic beverages which signed on to address the issue of alcohol-related harm. Other signatories include other world’s leading producers of beer, wine and spirits such as Anheuser-Bush InBev, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, Bacardi Limited, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman Corporation, Carlsberg, Diageo, Heineken, Kirin Holdings Company Limited, Molsen Coors, Pernod Ricard and SABMiller.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), is a Washington D.C. based not-for-profit organization which was created in January 2015 to address the global public health issue of harmful drinking.

Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said: “I am proud of Diageo’s significant contribution towards the industry’s overall progress in reducing the harmful use of alcohol, particularly our work to prevent underage drinking and ensure the next generation has a positive relationship with alcohol. We are three years into the most ambitious initiative our industry has ever collectively undertaken to address harmful drinking and, while we have made good progress, there is still more work to be done. At Diageo, we are committed to doing more.”

The report notes progress in programmes to prevent underage drinking. The signatories, collectively implemented 257 underage education initiatives in 2015, a 49% increase from the previous year.

Locally, Guinness Nigeria Plc has launched various initiatives to promote the responsible use of alcohol in society and as part of a balanced lifestyle. These include the DrinkiQ training programme, age verification program launched last year, the yearly “Ember Months” campaign which is done in conjunction with the FRSC. It would be recalled that last year, Guinness Nigeria donated breathalyzers to the safety corp to enable it check the incidence of drunk-driving on Nigerian roads. Other initiatives include sponsorship of a radio programme, DRINK DIARIES, on Lagos Traffic radio 96.1 FM as well as advertorials and out of home messaging aimed at educating the general public on the dangers of drink-driving.

In 2015, IARD members and industry organisations supported 345 drinking and driving prevention programs. Diageo supported drinking and driving prevention programmes in 39 countries last year, including its flagship #JoinThePact programme.

Diageo says its track record in drink driving programmes also led the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to select Diageo as a partner for a two-year partnership entitled ‘Road Safety Initiative for Cities’ which aims to improve road safety globally earlier this year. Scheduled to start in late 2016, training will be run in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America, focusing on countries with the highest death rates related to road traffic accidents, with over 60 countries invited to participate.

At the start of 2016, Diageo relaunched DRINKiQ.com, making the site available in 12 languages across 25 countries, featuring enhanced alcohol content and nutritional information for all its brands, including a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates and protein as well as, for the first time, detailing saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and sodium content.

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