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Socio-economic development

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, means that through all our activities we aim to contribute positively to the lives of our employees and business partners, and to the wider community. Working together with local people for the benefit of the societies and economies where we operate builds trust with our stakeholders and perpetuates the stable operating environment we need to succeed.

Our approach and performance

Our stakeholders expect global companies like Diageo to contribute to socio-economic development in the communities in which they operate. At Diageo, giving back to our communities has been a part of our history dating back to the founders of our predecessor companies, from Arthur Guinness’s work with Dublin’s poor in the nineteenth century, to Grand Metropolitan’s projects addressing unemployment in the 1980s.

In recent years, we have made a meaningful assessment of the potential impact of our entire value chain on our local communities. This is continuing as our business grows around the world. Today, our commitment to giving back helps us build relationships with our stakeholders, and directly supports our business strategy.

Three pillars define our approach to socio-economic development:

  • Local wealth creation – contributing to economic development through business activities such as local hiring, local sourcing, our tax contributions, and fostering an enterprise culture
  • Community investment – establishing investment programmes that empower individuals and communities, bolstered by brand‑led initiatives and charitable activity
  • Advocacy and awareness – harnessing the power of consumers, and collaborating with other companies, governments, industry bodies, and non‑governmental organisations (NGOs) to advance sustainable development.

A strong principle in this work is to engage stakeholders to understand and address local interests and concerns and, where possible, work in partnership to solve complex problems. By doing so we ensure that we achieve the greatest impact from our investment in development programmes.

Our community investment this year – 0.9% of operating profit – resulted in around 1 million people getting better access to clean water and 25,307 students improving their vocational and other skills. This year we have begun to emphasise women in our skills development work. In Asia for example, 9,000 women participated in programmes specifically designed for them. Beyond community investment, our business contributed to local wealth creation in many ways. One indicator that we track is local sourcing in Africa; this year 52% of our raw materials used in the region were sourced locally.

Progress against socio-economic development targets

How we're performing against our targets