Leaders in the alcohol industry have gone to great lengths to support safe drinking.
CEOs of top global producers of beer, wine and spirits today released a report highlighting the progress on their initiative to reduce harmful drinking.
At the two-year mark of this five-year program, the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking has shown progress, it says, in areas including helping to reduce underage drinking, prevent drink driving, and strengthen and expand marketing codes of practice to promote responsible drinking.
Among highlights in the Commitment’s 2014 Progress Report were gains in the fight against underage drinking. Participating companies have undertaken 180 underage drinking prevention education programs around the world. The beer, wine, and spirits producers also helped drive the development of a legal purchasing age policy in Vietnam in 2014.
The Commitments represent the largest ever industry-wide initiative to address harmful drinking, the organization says. The 2014 Progress Report, based on key performance indicators developed by Accenture Sustainability Services, was assured by KPMG Sustainability.
According to the report, other accomplishments were:
- Education programs resulting from signatories’ work with NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, and other interested stakeholders have benefitted more than 2.58 million underage individuals. Adult influencer outreach efforts leapt from roughly half a million to 3.26 million. New tools included development of a consumer website, responsibledrinking.org, which provides information on responsible drinking.
- Through both individual and collective work, beer, wine and spirits producers launched 375 unique drink-driving programs in 146 countries. In partnership with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, producers launched a series of successful pilot programs aimed at reducing drink driving in China, Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Vietnam. These culturally specific programs focused on increasing public awareness, building stronger relationships with law enforcement, and targeting specific groups of drivers at high risk for drunk driving.
- Launching a set of Digital Guiding Principles in September 2014 (pictured above). The principles marked the first-ever set of global guidelines for beverage alcohol producers to require online marketing and social media use to meet the same standards that apply to traditional marketing activities. These standards include adhering to the 70/30 rule, which establishes that advertisements in print, broadcast and digital media should have a minimum 70 percent adult audience.
- Launching an Alcohol Education Guide in October 2014. Crafted with the guidance of an expert panel that based the work on best practices from around the world, the guide supports step-by-step development of alcohol education programs with interactive, comprehensive and user-friendly resources. The Guide provides users with examples of good practice programs that can be replicated or adapted for different audiences.
The Progress Report also outlines the work that lies ahead for the duration of the initiative, including expanding collective drink driving efforts to other countries; continuing work in targeted countries that do not have a legal purchase age; and continuing to collaborate with major international retailers to better define their role in supporting the goal of reducing harmful drinking.
In 66 of the 117 countries where commitments signatories are active, at least one signatory is working on moving forward retail initiatives to reduce harmful drinking.
The producers initially signed the commitments in October 2012.