Grain-to-Glass Sustainability

European Union
2020 > Ongoing
#EnergyEfficiency #Packaging #WaterUse


Through the Society 2030: Spirit of Progress action plan, Diageo aims to pioneer grain to glass sustainability by preserving water, reducing carbon emissions and becoming sustainable by design.

As part of this, Diageo has set ambitious targets for integrating more renewable energy and recycled material into their activities to ensure progress towards carbon neutrality and zero waste in direct operations.


In November 2020, Diageo released the ESG Action Plan “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress”, a ten-year roadmap to create a more sustainable and inclusive world by 2030.

The roadmap consists of three key pillars:

  1. Promoting positive drinking,
  2. Championing inclusion and diversity, and
  3. Pioneering grain-to-glass sustainability. 

Through the grain-to-glass pillar, Diageo aims to build more sustainable supply chains while protecting the environment and its natural resources. The goals Diageo set itself are ambitious:

  • Preserving water for life: the strategy is based on best practice water stewardship in three key areas: water accessibility, availability and quality with a focus on water-stressed areas. Diageo’s goal is to reduce water use in operations with a 40% improvement in water use efficiency in water stressed.
  • Accelerating to a low carbon world: Spirit of Progress focuses on four areas of action - operations, supply chain, communities and leading through advocacy. Diageo aims to become net zero in direct operations by 2030
  • Becoming sustainable by design: strive for the development of a fully circular business model, eliminating waste from the value chain, developing solutions to reuse materials and creating innovative solutions to grow sustainably

Diageo has announced the following measures in recent years:

  • The Science-Based Targets initiative, which confirmed that Diageo’s greenhouse gas emission targets were meeting the criteria for the 1.5°C warming pathway.
  • Carbon neutrality in distilleries, with Diageo making progress to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire supply chain. Diageo now has four carbon-neutral distilleries in Scotland and North America, with plans announced for carbon neutral distilleries in China and Canada.
  • Diageo Sustainable Solutions innovation challenges, focused on topics such as enhancing the sustainability of packaging in partnership with innovators, customers, suppliers and researchers, as well as agriculture-focused challenges aimed at finding solutions to further support our smallholder farmers.
  • Regenerative agriculture pilot in Ireland, a three-year barley pilot which aims to drive positive outcomes for the planet and farmer livelihoods. The ambition is for the barley grown to be used to brew Guinness.

More information can also be found on the website of Diageo, where several sections address the challenges to sustainability and the company’s sustainable solutions.


Diageo’s Partnering with Suppliers Standard sets minimum social, ethical and environmental expectations for its suppliers.  Diageo has been working with:

  •  AIM-PROGRESS, a forum of leading consumer goods manufacturers and companies, assembled to enable and promote responsible sourcing practices and sustainable supply chains.
  • SEDEX, a not-for-profit organisation that provides one of the world’s leading online platforms for companies to manage and improve working conditions in global supply chains.
  • Smallholder farmers through a dedicated framework, the smallholder farmer programme, which supports the economic, environmental and social resiliency of 4,660 smallholder farmers.

 Diageo delivers its strategic objectives in cooperation with a wide range of frameworks and external stakeholders such as the Glasgow Declaration for Fair Water, the COP26 Business Leaders Group, and the two UN-backed global campaigns Race to Zero and Race to Resilience.


Diageo’s Spirit of Progress action plan is still in its infancy, but progress can already be observed in many areas of activity

* 2030 GOAL: 30% Improvement in water use efficiency in operations (40% in water stressed areas).

  • In 2022, Diageo achieved 3.7% water efficiency improvement and generated the annual capacity to replenish over one million cubic metres of water

* 2030 GOAL: Zero Carbon emission in direct operations.

  • In 2022, 5.3% reduction in carbon emissions from direct operations despite a year-on-year increase of 9.6% in packaged volume and 6.7% in distilled volume.

* 2030 GOAL: 100% Renewable energy in direct operations.

  • In 2022,6% increase in the use of renewable energy across all its direct operations.

* 2030 GOAL: Zero waste to landfill in supply chains.

  • Diageo’s performance within the de minimis threshold for zero waste and represents a 90.6% reduction on waste diverted to landfill since Diageo fiscal 20 baseline.

* 2030 GOAL: 100% of packaging is recyclable (or reusable/compostable).

  • In 2022,9% of Diageo’s packaging was recyclable

 * 2030 GOAL: 100% of plastics is recyclable (or reusable/compostable).

  • In 2022, 5.2% increase in recyclability, thus raising the total recyclability of Diageo’s plastics to 72%

Measurement & evaluation

Diageo’s goals are all aligned with the UN SDGs. Diageo reports on progress against these goals on an annual basis in its ESG Report. Additionally, the company is an active member of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures through the UN Global Compact.




Grain to Glass Sustainability

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preserve-water-for-life-our-water-stewardship-strategy-june-2022.pdf (pdf - 5.78 Mo)
diageo-annual-report-2022.pdf (pdf - 15 Mo)