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Engaging stakeholders

Working in partnership with all those on whom our business has an impact – our stakeholders – is an essential part of how we do business, and its importance is growing.

We engage stakeholders on two levels, local and global. At a local level, employees across many functions engage our people, local governments, customers, media, and community groups on issues of immediate concern to them. At a global level, we engage investors, customers, suppliers, and multinational organisations such as United Nations agencies or NGOs that have a broad remit. This year we interviewed more than 40 global stakeholders as part of our work to refresh our Sustainability & Responsibility Strategy.

Here we outline in general terms who our stakeholders are, and how we communicate with them.

Our stakeholders

We define our stakeholders as all those who affect or are affected by Diageo’s business. They include internal and external stakeholders, ranging from employees, investors and commercial partners to governments and local communities.

The table below sets out each stakeholder group and examples of how we currently engage them on all issues, including sustainability and responsibility questions.

Our stakeholder engagement programme
  • Formal annual general meetings
  • Meetings between investors, senior leadership, and investor relations team
  • Conversations between investors, sustainability and responsibility team, and investor relations team
  • Annual investor audit
  • Online communications
  • Investor conferences
  • Investor road shows
  • Values Survey
  • Team meetings
  • Employee newsletters
  • Forums
Commercial partners
  • Annual customer survey
  • ‘Top-to-Top’ meetings between Diageo and customers’ senior executives
  • Third-party supplier audits
  • SpeakUp helpline
  • Consumer carelines
  • Formal market research
  • Brand and corporate websites
  • Social media
  • Product information on packaging
Government / regulators
  • Briefings and direct meetings
  • Multi-stakeholder forums
Local community organisations and NGOs
  • One-to-one meetings or conversations
  • Multi-stakeholder forums
  • Annual reviews (Diageo Foundation)
  • Ongoing partnerships
  • Senior leadership meetings
  • Global networks
  • Regular media surveys

Membership of codes and charters

Diageo is a signatory to a number of global external codes and charters that reflect our principles.

  • Alcohol in society: we are a signatory to the Dublin Principles, which provide guidance for mutually acceptable means of co‑operation, based on ethical principles, for all those concerned with alcohol consumption and its effects, including the beverage alcohol industry, public health officials, researchers, and others. The Principles were adopted by consensus by an international group of experts in 1997. This year we joined 12 other industry leaders in announcing a set of CEO Commitments to combat alcohol misuse.
  • Water and the environment: in 2002 we signed the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative. In 2008 we endorsed the CEO Water Mandate, a UN‑sanctioned private / public partnership that aims to address the world’s growing water crisis as pressures intensify from climate change, population growth, and development. In 2010 we signed the Cancún Communiqué urging governments to make rapid progress on a number of key issues during the sixteenth UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP16) in Cancún, Mexico.
  • Socio-economic development: in 2013 we signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative between UN Women and the UN Global Compact.

Reporting frameworks in this section