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Sustainable production and consumption: What it looks like and why it matters for this French spirit maker

From fighting alcohol misuse to fixing gender wage gap across its business operations, premium French spirit maker Pernod Ricard announces 8 key sustainability commitments as part of its 'Transform and Accelerate' strategic plan

Premium French spirit maker, Pernod Ricard, has just launched its 2030 Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap, which sets out 8 ambitious 2030 targets. The roadmap is in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and was unveiled this week at the Martell Cognac distillery in France. The group is taking bold next steps in addressing both environmental topics, to preserve the terroirs its products come from, and social responsibility, in particular by accelerating the fight against alcohol misuse.

Last September, during the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, Pernod Ricard was the only wine and spirits company to be recognized – among a total of 34 companies – as a Global Compact LEAD company, for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to its Ten Principles for responsible business. The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since it was founded, Pernod Ricard has had sustainability at its heart. The group’s founder, Paul Ricard, started the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute over 50 years ago, which is still instrumental in advancing ocean preservation.

8 new sustainability commitments

Building on these past achievements, the 8 new sustainability commitments seek to address some of the planet’s biggest threats, including climate change and plastic waste.

1.       Biodiversity – by 2030. Under a “nurturing terroir” pillar, 100% of the group’s global affiliates, which include Chivas Brothers, Malibu and Absolut Vodka will have strategic biodiversity projects.

2.       Regenerative agriculture – by 2025, the group will develop regenerative agriculture pilot projects within its own vineyards in 8 wine regions – Argentina, California, Cognac, Champagne, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and China – mimicking natural processes to improve the quality of top soil, watershedsand ecosystems. By 2030, the company will then partner with over 5,000 farmers to share this knowledge further.

3.       Equality and future leadership – by 2022, the group will ensure equal pay across the business and by 2030, the top management teams will be gender balanced. In addition to which, by 2030, 100% of employees will have received future-fit training at least every 3 years to develop new skills.

4.       Shared knowledge and learning –  by 2030, the group will train 10,000 bartenders on the bar world of tomorrow to host consumers in a more sustainable way including being anti-waste and plastic-free.

5.       Packaging and waste – by 2025 Pernod Ricard will ban all promotional items made from single-use plastic  and 100% of its packaging will be recyclable, compostable, reusable or bio-based. In addition to which, by 2030 the Group will pilot 5 new circular ways of distributing wine & spirits and help increase recycling rates in its top 10 largest markets with low recycling levels.

6.       Water balance and carbon-footprint – by 2030, Pernod Ricard aims to be water balanced in all high-risk watersheds (like India and Australia), replenishing 100% of water consumption from production sites. In relation to carbon emissions, Pernod Ricard will commit to reducing the overall intensity of its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 in line with the Science-Based Targets (SBTs) initiative.

7.       Alcohol misuse – by 2030, each and every affiliate of Pernod Ricard across the World will have at least one program to fight alcohol misuse, at scale and evaluated.

8.       Responsible Party – by 2030, Pernod Ricard will expand its Responsible Party program globally to reach at least 1 million young adults. Responsible Party was created 10 years ago in partnership with the Erasmus Student Network to raise students’ awareness about responsible consumption, and has reached 400,000 students in Europe since.

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Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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