Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 62

SPECIAL FEATURE : SUSTAINABILITY
IN FOCUS INTERVIEW
We also have Sustainable Agriculture Guidelines that set out the standards we expect in our agricultural supply chains and are applied in conjunction with our supplier code , Partnering with Suppliers . These also provide guidelines to help our suppliers work continuously towards more sustainable agricultural practices by treating farmers and workers fairly , improving environmental impacts , protecting natural capital and supporting wider economic benefits for farming communities .
The company ’ s sustainability goals , like the diversity ones , form part of senior management KPIs . How has this framework helped to deliver results compared to the more HQ-led approach often seen in other sectors ?
Diageo was one of only eight beverage companies globally and 65 companies overall ( out of 9,600 ) to achieve A for both Water Security and Climate Change . On the Dow Jones Sustainability Index , we ’ re ranked as one of the top four beverage companies worldwide .
At Diageo , reporting is not just about meeting regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations , it ’ s also fundamental to attracting and retaining the best talent , building deep consumer loyalty , creating new partnerships , and increasing innovation , efficiency and resilience across our operations .
Reporting transparently on our ESG progress and holding our senior management accountable play a vital role in delivering our 2030 goals . It sets the standard for the entire organisation , ensuring collective and individual responsibility to reach the targets . For example , Society 2030 and ESG reporting are now embedded as part of how we define our business success and performance . We have developed an integrated , quarterly reporting system that consolidates cross-functional non-financial performance data at market and regional levels , which gives senior internal stakeholders a clear view of our performance .
This has helped our progress in reaching our sustainability goals and it ’ s really encouraging that Diageo ’ s commitment and approach continues to be recognised externally .
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Diageo is the world ' s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands . Their portfolio stretches across spirits , wine and beer categories including international number one brands such as Smirnoff , Johnnie Walker , Guinness and Baileys as well as leading local brands such as Windsor and Shui Jing Fang . Diageo is a global company , trading in around 180 markets around the world . Find out more at www . diageo . com .
63 SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY - COMMITTEE CONTENT THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY IS EASY TO MAKE Indeed, Sunny Verghese, co-founder of Singapore’s Olam International says “the real ah-ha moment for securing buy-in for sustainability is when you demonstrate the real financial value of initiatives either through added reve- nues or savings”. The encouragement towards sustainability from a business’ immediate stakeholders is a good place to begin thinking around the business case. actions can have a rapid and acute com- mercial impact on a business, positive or adverse. According to McKinsey 47% of consumers disappointed with a brand’s stance on a social issue stop buying its products, and 17% will never return. While the appearance of ‘green- washing’ is a real danger to a business, authentic efforts to be sustainable present benefits for brand reputation and commercial opportunities. Employees are now considered to be a company’s most important stakehold- er (Edelman, 2021). The evidence is overwhelming that an engaged work- force drives better returns, and engage- ment comes from feeling that there is a match of values between employee and company. Companies that adopt sustainable practices find it easier to attract and retain talent. This under- pins competitive advantage, through productive high-performing people and reputation, and reduces the replace- ment and training costs associated with higher rates of attrition. Globally 34% of survey respondents said they have left an organization solely because of the silence on a societal issue, while 62% of job seekers say that a responsible ap- proach to sustainability is a compelling factor to take a job. Suppliers are critical stakeholders in both business success and sustain- ability. The disruption of the pandemic highlighted the need for resilient supply chains and threw into relief the differ- ence between transactional supplier relationships and partnerships. The opportunity is to improve the sustain- ability of supply chains, to go beyond compliance. Addressing the supply chain to be sustainable will future-proof the business by securing improved pric- ing, better availability and a relationship that will facilitate an agile response to the next great business challenge. Consumers are increasingly aware of their ‘voting power’ as stakeholders to encourage organisations towards sustainable practices. The rise of ‘con- scious consumerism’ means the social or environmental impact of business The notion that sustainability can un- derpin growth is reinforced by the data. While sustainability transformation may constitute a step-change, the commer- cial argument is compelling: over 2,000 studies have examined the impact of ESG propositions on equity returns: 63% found positive results and only 8% were negative (McKinsey). When sustainabil- ity is embraced as a responsible and authentic response, it complements a business’ value proposition, enhancing Reflections on the Year their ability to build trust, to adapt, and to deliver results. Indeed, companies driven by purpose achieve compound annual growth rates of 9.9% outper- forming the S&P 500 average of 2.4% (Korn Ferry, 2021). In this feature members of the BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee look back at 2021 for our last edition of the year. Embracing sustainability involves a mental shift, to question established norms. Circular economic models replace linear value chains. Designs and materials consider restoration and recycling. Financing considers longer term returns. Smart buildings, energy usage, renewables are all increasingly important. Zero waste should now be a standard aim everywhere. As is often the case, business will innovate, mod- ernise and drive a changing world. In leading the charge into sustainability, a business stands to unlock lower capi- tal costs, more secure supply, improved supplier relationships, a more engaged workforce, a greater reputation, lower fixed expenses and more loyal custom- ers. As well as all that, it might just be- queath a more habitable world to future generations. Whether new to embracing sustainabil- ity, or farther down the road, the advice here is to transform your business into one which embeds sustainability into every practice and decision. That way you will deliver on your Triple Bottom Line. People. Planet. And lots of profit. Joe Tofield Senior Manager, International Baccalaureate and Chair, BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee Don Rapley Co-Founder and Director, Transform Your Conversations and Co-Chair, BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee 2021 was certainly a challenging year for businesses and the pandemic continued longer than many expected. Instead of the anticipated opening of travel and restrictions, much of the world had to cope with a continuation of the same policies we saw in 2020 to keep people safe. This in turn however, created new opportunities for many of our members with organizations pivoting to stay relevant in the areas of LTPD. This included the shift to online learning and leveraging on new technologies to create greater collaboration and increase productivity. We saw a more permanent move to hybrid working, with even many ‘work from office’ companies allowing staff to work from home a few days week. However, this in turn has caused challenges with engagement and building a strong company culture. We tackled this in our panel event ‘Back to the Future’ which is available of download. However, LTPD will be looking at the future of hybrid work and what this means in the coming months to support members with the new world of work. Hiring the right talent is also becoming increasingly difficult with global mobility reduced, but the need for skilled workers increasing every year. We were pleased to round off our podcasts for the year with the new Chamber Gold Partner Globalization Partners to discuss just this issue. This is a topic we will also be provided members more content and value on to support this challenging area. To find out more about the work of this committee, catch up on earlier content and access upcoming events, click here. We are pleased with another strong year from the committee and want to thank our engaged members who share their exper- tise and networks with the chamber to produce these great events and content. Some of our committee members have also kindly shared their thoughts from the year. COMMITTEE CONTENT REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR