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Our standards and guidelines

As the world’s leading premium drinks company and the guardian of well-loved brands like Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Tanqueray, we set out minimum requirements that we expect our suppliers to follow, along with aspirational standards to work towards.

We have three main frameworks we use to help us manage the sustainability impacts of our supply chain, our Partnering with Suppliers standard, our Sustainable Agriculture Sourcing Guidelines and our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines.

Partnering with Suppliers

The principal standard for our suppliers, Partnering with Suppliers sets out the minimum social, ethical and environmental standards we expect them to follow as part of their contract with us. It also outlines aspirational standards towards which we encourage those companies who would like to be our long-term partners to work. It covers the following key sustainability themes:

  • Ethical business practices – we emphasise our Code of Business Conduct, and require suppliers both to comply with legislation and to commit to working against corruption, extortion and bribery.
  • Human rights – we recognise International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards for safe working conditions, fair pay and reasonable hours. We expect our suppliers to meet all applicable legislation and the ILO core conventions, while encouraging them to endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Health and safety standards – we expect suppliers to maintain a safe working environment including providing access to safety equipment and training. We also encourage them to conduct routine risk assessments, to improve health and safety standards continually, and to adopt health and safety management systems that can be externally verified and certified.
  • Environmental impacts – we expect suppliers to have an environmental policy; we set out our commitment to reduce energy, waste and water; and we ask them to demonstrate a similar commitment by monitoring and improving their performance.
  • Responsible drinking programmes – we explain our commitment to responsible drinking, and encourage our partners to make use of our information and experience in creating a more positive role for alcohol in society.

Sustainable Agriculture Sourcing Guidelines

The disproportionate impact of our agricultural suppliers on social and environmental issues makes our Sustainable Agriculture Sourcing Guidelines important. They are designed for our raw material suppliers, and the farmers managing the land. They encourage commitment to good environmental practices, fairness to workers and wider economic benefits for grower communities.

Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

For us, sustainable packaging must strike the balance between packaging designed with the lowest possible environmental footprint and retaining its core functions of protecting, delivering and presenting our brands. We encourage our suppliers to achieve high standards and investigate alternatives to increase the sustainable and ethical production of all our packaging. Published in 2012, our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines are helping us achieve these objectives.

Reporting frameworks in this section