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Working with customers

Together with our customers we are working hard on sustainability initiatives to help consumers celebrate life, everyday, everywhere with our brands.

Our approach

Our customers can vary from large global retailers and convenience stores, to bars, restaurants, hotels and governments such as 'control states' in the United States and state monopolies in certain countries like Sweden and Norway.

As a conduit to our consumers, these businesses and organisations are very important in our efforts to change consumer attitudes especially around responsible drinking.

In a similar way, our customers increasingly see Diageo, alongside their other suppliers, as a conduit to their own sustainability performance. We have found that our customers have different priorities around sustainability. For example, while Brazil places recycling high on the agenda, some US and European customers are interested in our carbon footprint, while others are more focused on local communities or supply chain practices. Nonetheless, our work this year has been primarily with large global retailers on programmes addressing responsible drinking - where we believe we can make significant impact.

Below are some of the key programmes we've launched this year.

Responsible drinking

Many of our customers rely on us to provide leadership on responsible drinking and come to us for knowledge and insight. We work in many ways to promote responsible drinking in the on and off trade. For example, we established the Diageo Bar Academy, where this year, we trained close to 20,000 barmen across Asia Pacific to develop world-class bar training standards, including responsible service of alcohol. Read more in our case study.

We also convene forums with retailers. For example in Kenya, we signed a partnership pact with the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK), which represents over 200 members, to promote all aspects of responsible drinking consistently. PERAK members now help their customers get taxis home as well as advocate for a designated driver when groups come into their bars.

Our most frequent programmes are managed bilaterally with our largest retailers. Below are just a few examples.


  • Sainsbury's, United Kingdom: Partnering with Sainsbury's (one of the United Kingdom's largest supermarkets), Heineken and Drinkaware, we created a responsible drinking campaign in 230 Sainsbury's stores, educating shoppers about recommended daily limits and the number of units in drinks.


  • Carrefour, Italy: An estimated 6 million consumers across Italy made alcohol purchases in 58 Carrefour hyperstores while our responsible drinking leaflets and advertising banners were being showcased. 81% of people interviewed afterwards said the information was very useful while 65% said they were now aware of the standard units in different alcoholic drinks.


  • Walmart, Brazil: We ran a programme aimed at curbing underage drinking with Walmart, including strong messaging in point of sale materials, coupons and communications to all Diageo and Walmart employees.
  • Walmart, Puerto Rico: Diageo's Guardian Angels, which aim to promote responsible drinking by distributing informational materials to consumers, visited 10 Walmart stores throughout Puerto Rico to spread their message. Read more in our case study.


  • Metro, the Netherlands and Germany: Smart Serve helps small shop and bar owners sell and serve alcohol responsibly. Through materials and a training DVD, the initiative shares ways that these small businesses can play a role in enforcing the legal drinking age, preventing drink driving and creating a more enjoyable experience for their consumers. It was piloted in Germany and is now being rolled out to other Metro stores in Western Europe.  In June, Diageo and Metro announced the winners of the Smart Serve Competition, which rewarded the best ideas for how to promote responsible selling and serving. The winning bar, Cocktail Bar ONE in Magdeburg, Germany, convinced the jury with a photo story showing how bar staff make sure that alcohol is not served to minors.
  • Real, Poland: Building on last year's responsible drinking partnership with Real, part of the Metro Group, this year we focused on drink driving. We collected 75,000 signatures of responsible drinkers pledging, 'I drive. I don't drink' in stores, through a website and Facebook application.

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is increasingly important to our customers, as it is for us.

Our best example of addressing this need is in Brazil, where we launched Glass is Good in São Paulo, Brazil last year. As part of this programme, we offer vouchers to encourage participating stores, bars and restaurants to recycle our bottles. We are also supporting recycling co-operatives to recycle bottles in bars, supermarkets and apartment blocks by providing transport, training and safety equipment.

In its first year, the programme worked with 37 partner nightclubs, recycling approximately 1,100 tonnes of glass. We increased the number of collection points by 150% in just six months. The programme also developed a partnership with CEMPRE (Corporate Commitment to Recycling), an important institution in the sector, and received a new warehouse from the City of São Paulo. Given its success, we plan to expand the programme across Brazil.

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