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Creating jobs while minimising our environmental footprint in Colombia

Working with low-income families and local governments, we’ve rolled out our bottle collection initiative to seven cities in Colombia – and we’re investing in skills for the communities involved.

Creating jobs while minimising our environmental footprint in Colombia

We have rolled out a programme in seven cities in Colombia. So far this year, we have collected 208,073 empty spirits bottles (including but not limited to Diageo brands), saving approximately 23 tonnes of CO2 and 6,039 cubic feet of landfill.

This is the result of two years of work in Colombia. Our recycling initiative, currently known as Alianza con la Tierra (Alliance with the Earth) has focused on collecting empty bottles at the main regional fairs and festivals throughout the country. Working with us to collect the recyclable materials are ‘cooperativas’, or associations of low-income families.

‘We discovered that these associations could become our long-term partners if we also worked with them on improving skills,’ said Ximena Renjifo, corporate relations manager, Diageo Colombia. ‘That’s why we are currently implementing two Learning for Life Entrepreneur Projects with communities in the cities of Medellín and Barranquilla.’

Through Learning for Life, we have delivered valuable training to 300 students from six associations, in topics such as citizenship and civil rights, business management, commercial skills, waste management and organisational growth.

The programme has been well received by local governments and our on trade clients, and we see the opportunity to grow our glass collections throughout next year and to continue our support for recycling communities.