A premium spirits company, Beam Suntory’s sustainability ambitions to go beyond net-zero carbon emissions, reduce water use by 50% and achieve 100% watershed replenishment
April 29, 2021: The Japanese company Beam Suntory, one of the world leaders in premium spirits, representing luxury brands such as Laphroaig and Bowmore among others, is making long-term commitments to sustainability across every facet of its value chain, from seed to sip – a program known as Proof Positive. These commitments to the environment, consumers, and society are aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Beam Suntory’s President & CEO, Albert Baladi, said, “Proof Positive is inspired by Suntory’s vision of Growing for Good and represents a step- change in our sustainability ambitions. Our quality products start with the blessings of nature, and we’re determined to give back to nature more than we use. We’re fundamentally committed to reducing harmful drinking, and we’ll increase investment to support consumers in making responsible choices. We’ll use our platform to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and leave a lasting legacy for our teams, community and our industry. Proof Positive is a critical roadmap towards 2030, 2040, and beyond for how we will positively impact the environment, our consumers and our communities.”
Through investments in efficient technology and cleaner fuels, Beam Suntory has reduced water use per unit of production by 22% and reduced greenhouse gases emitted by direct operations by 19%+. Building on this, Beam Suntory’s new goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% across direct operations by 2030, with an ambition to remove more carbon than is emitted across the entire value chain by 2040. The Fred B. Noe Craft Distillery, set to open later this year in Clermont, Kentuky, will be the company’s first distillery powered by renewable energy. Beam Suntory sites across the world have begun transitioning from higher carbon fuels, like coal and fuel oil, to lower carbon fuels, such as natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas.
The company aims to reduce water usage for every unit of production by 50% by 2030 and replenishing more water than what is used in direct operations to water sources, shared with local communities and nature, by 2040. Both Maker’s Mark and the James B. Beam Distilling Co. have established Natural Water Sanctuaries in Kentucky to protect local water sources that are vital to the crafting of bourbon.
Planting more trees than those harvested to make whiskey barrels is also a commitment taken up by Beam Suntory. The brand will plant 500,000 trees annually by 2030 to not only ensure a sustainable source of American White Oak for future use in bourbon production, but to support sustainable forestry practices as well.
The company is also aiming towards working only with suppliers that use sustainable practices by 2040. Beam Suntory will use 100% recyclable packaging and 40% recycled materials by weight across the packaging portfolio by 2030.
From a consumer perspective, Beam Suntory provides tools for consumers to make positive choices for their personal wellbeing and impact on others through its Drink Smart program. It partners with organizations around the world on evidence-based programs to combat underage consumption, binge drinking and impaired driving, and provides consumers with calorie and alcohol content for its key products.
Beam Suntory will also foster a more inclusive and equitable culture, while working to increase gender, racial, and ethnic representation across its business, and continue to engage and support employees around the world to volunteer their time. Goals include reaching 50% women in leadership positions globally, 45% racially and ethnically diverse employee representation in the US, and achieve an industry-leading sense of belonging among employees by 2030.
The company will contribute 1 million cumulative volunteer hours to communities around the world by 2030 and continue to invest in initiatives and organizations that support on-trade partners, build stronger communities, and promote social justice.