The Drinks Association launches its new Sustainability Council

The Drinks Association launches its new Sustainability Council

April 03, 2024
Cindy Panzera

The Drinks Association is proud to announce the establishment of its new Sustainability Council. The Council's primary purpose is to encourage and inspire the drinks industry to have a greater positive impact on people and the planet and, in the process, build trust and resilience within the sector.

Georgia Lennon, CEO of the Drinks Association, said: “The launch of our new Sustainability Council marks an exciting advancement for the drinks industry. Sustainability is a critical aspect of organisational strategy, influenced by demands from shareholders, customers, consumers, employees, and other stakeholders, reinforcing the growing importance of transparency and action in this area.”

“While many of our member organisations have already made positive strides in this direction, it's now time to learn from each other and take a unified approach to demonstrating our collective commitment to sustainability, while unlocking new opportunities and creating the potential for transformative impact,” added Lennon.

The Sustainability Council will adopt a three-pronged approach in the way it operates.

  • Engage: The Council will actively listen and proactively partner with industry stakeholders to understand expectations, share approaches and collaborate on sustainability solutions.
  • Educate: The Council will provide a sustainability resource hub for the industry, sharing insights, best practices and educational materials to inform decisions, inspire action and enhance outcomes.
  • Elevate: The Council will establish and track progress against sustainability goals and targets to encourage continuous improvement and enhance the industry’s positive impact.

By focusing on the core impact pillars of Planet, People, and Progress, the council will address a range of topics including incorporating sustainable practices, protecting the environment, valuing people within organisations and supply chains, and promoting transparency and continuous improvement.

Earlier this month, the Drinks Association Board established a workgroup with representatives from nine organisations to spearhead the Sustainability Council. The Council will be jointly chaired by two members: Rebecca Loch, Sustainability Leader at Lion, and Vanessa Shepherd, Head of Sustainability at Diageo. In collaboration with their fellow Council members, they will assess industry progress on priority issues and develop a detailed work plan with realistic deliverables, including any financial implications.

Commenting on their new appointment, Rebecca Loch and Vanessa Shepherd said: "It is a privilege to Co-Chair the new Drinks Association Sustainability Council. The new Sustainability Council will provide a forum for the Drinks industry to collaborate in tackling some of the biggest environmental and social challenges in the world today. By working together in this forum, we can accelerate and amplify our collective positive impact in this space."

The newly formed Sustainability Council will convene for its first meeting in May 2024.

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