Brown-Forman (NYSE:BFA) (NYSE:BFB) announced today the publication of its fourth corporate responsibility report, covering the company’s global commitments and supporting case study examples on alcohol responsibility, environmental sustainability, employee relations, and community involvement. The report is available in print and on the company’s website.
The report, “Global Spirit,” draws its title from the company’s growing global business and alcohol responsibility efforts in markets outside the U.S. It is available for download at www.brown-forman.com/responsibility.
Brown-Forman’s report highlights key responsibility issues and activities in markets around the world in a travelogue-style Global Guide to Alcohol Responsibility. It includes a beverage industry “snapshot” of the culture and issues around beverage alcohol in each location. The report also showcases effective partnerships and initiatives that are helping promote the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol in Brown-Forman’s top countries, including the U.K., Australia, Mexico, and Poland, among others.
To expand Brown-Forman’s commitment to global alcohol responsibility, company Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga chaired a group of 12 other global beer, wine, and spirits producers to announce collective commitments to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. The commitments address five key areas of concern – reducing underage drinking, strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice, providing consumer information and responsible product innovation, reducing drunk driving, and enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking.“We also recognize industry action alone will not be sufficient to ‘solve’ the problems of harmful drinking,” said Varga. “Accordingly, we will seek to accelerate the pace of positive change and engage industry peers and other potential influencers not yet at the table.” Brown-Forman is also reporting on the Company’s progress towards its Environmental Sustainability Roadmap goals and targets for 2020. Progress against greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency targets were above and beyond 30% reduction goals due to building energy efficiencies and changes in the fuels the company uses in its distilleries. The company acknowledges that it needs to progress faster in its wastewater reduction efforts to meet targets. Through stakeholder engagement and dialogue with members of Ceres, Brown-Forman has been able to improve its understanding of environmental performance opportunities, and believes that more aggressive efforts lie ahead. To encourage sustainable practices, DendriFund, the new environmental sustainability foundation created by Brown-Forman and the Brown family, announced its first four grant recipients in July 2013. More information is available at www.dendrifund.org. Other highlights of the Corporate Responsibility Report include Brown-Forman’s publication of a new Global Human Rights Statement and accompanying Supplier Guidelines. In addition, the company has continued to extend its community involvement and employee volunteer efforts around the world. There has also been a global expansion of an employee incentive program to encourage healthy living practices such as proper nutrition and exercise.