Diageo Vietnam honoured for ESG efforts

September 11, 2023 | 09:00
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Recognised for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, Diageo Vietnam plans to further boost activities and call for support from various parties to facilitate bigger projects. Huynh Thi Thanh Truc, corporate relations director at Diageo Vietnam, spoke to VIR’s Nguyen Huong about the ambitious plans for the community.
Diageo Vietnam honoured for ESG efforts

Diageo Vietnam received the Best Community Programme Award and the Best Country Award at the 15th Annual Global CSR and ESG Summit 2023 that took place in Danang on August 29

Congratulations on receiving the Best Community Programme Award and the Best Country Award at the 15th Annual Global CSR & ESG Summit 2023. Can you share some examples of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) projects that Diageo Vietnam has implemented?

Diageo is committed to delivering a positive impact on society everywhere we live, work, source, and sell globally, regionally and in every individual market by driving our global “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress” agenda.

Globally, Diageo runs many programmes to support the delivery of our 25 sustainability targets across three pillars – responsible drinking, inclusion and diversity and grain-to-glass sustainability.

Becoming one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in Asia Pacific, Diageo Vietnam runs many programmes designed to best benefit our local communities.

The first pillar covers Inclusion and Diversity including Learning for Life and the Diageo Bar Academy. Learning for Life was first launched in 2022 in Quang Nam province and Diageo Bar Academy programme is run nationwide. Both of these are long-term initiatives providing bar skills and soft skills training for both unemployed and students at hospitality universities or colleges, or those who need more necessary soft skills for career development.

Based on the need of each region of the country, Diageo designs the most suitable soft skills, ensuring that the modules are practical and useful for participants. Throughout the implementation process, the participating individuals are equipped with up-to-date soft skills and trendy cocktail recipes, restaurateurs, and hotel managers.

Furthermore, this initiative collaboratively contributes to the enhancement of local educational institutions and vocational training centres by modernizing their curriculum, thus benefiting the subsequent generations of students. In 2023, Diageo has trained almost 1,300 people, and more than half are women. We are on the road to successfully training 10,000 people by 2030.

Secondly, promoting Responsible Drinking is another important pillar. That means drinking better not more, without a loss of control or respect. In 2022 Diageo ran its DRINKiQ programme, where we reached out to students who are over 18 years old to equip them with the knowledge and skills to know when and how to refuse excessive drinking. More than 27,000 people have visited the DRINKiQ website to find out more about how they can enjoy responsibly.

The third pillar is focused on environmental sustainability and our communities. Diageo runs an annual reforestation project in Dong Nai, and have since planted more than 2,000 trees. Employees are also encouraged to bring their families along, so that we can also share the importance of sustainability with families.

We also donated 89 water purifier machines to under condition households in Soc Son and Ba Vi districts – where Hanoi's landfill sites are located. Many families have lived there for decades with polluted air and water, the water purifier machines can make sure the community people live a more quality life with pure water for daily use.

How does Diageo Vietnam ensure the long-term continuity and scalability of its initiatives beyond the award recognition? Could you share some insights into the company's plans for further advancing its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ESG goals?

'Society 2030: Spirit of Progress' is our 10-year action plan to help create a more inclusive and sustainable world. We focus on 3 key areas: promoting positive drinking; championing inclusion and diversity; and pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability. This is well aligned with our ambition to be one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in Vietnam.

In the longer term, Diageo will continue to invest and innovate in programmes that are set out in our Spirit of Progress strategy, to ensure that we reach our ambitious 2030 targets. For instance, in addition to alcohol education, Diageo will look to launch aN initiative dedicated to educating people about the dangers of drink-driving later this year.

To Diageo, these initiatives are not one-time occasions, but represent a long-term commitment to create a positive impact in society.

Diageo Vietnam honoured for ESG efforts
Huynh Thi Thanh Truc, corporate relations director at Diageo Vietnam

Could you highlight the role of collaboration and engagement with local communities, stakeholders, and partners in the success of Diageo Vietnam?

Collaboration, engagement, and fostering strong relationships with local government, communities, and partners play a pivotal role in Diageo's success in responsible business practices. We follow a good code of business conduct by working with business partners to ensure we all do business the right way. Whenever we are, we respect all relevant laws of the country. However, we encourage an approach that allows our sector to grow to support tourism and hospitality, while ensuring education measures that reduce harm.

In Vietnam, we work with many partners to both reach the communities that we can impact the most, and amplify our efforts in putting programmes in place. One example is our glass collection and recycling initiative – Diageo works closely with customers and partnering bars and restaurants to collect the used glass.

We then work with our glass recycling partners to ensure that the collected glass is recycled properly. This process is complex, and not possible for Diageo to do on its own. Therefore, it is important for us to ensure that we bring our partners along in our sustainability journey. We are consistently looking for ways to partner with like-minded companies so that we can together make a larger and more scalable impact.

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By Nguyen Huong

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