WASHINGTON, July 26, 2016 /CNW/ - The 2015 Producers' Commitments Report shows signatory companies have stepped up implementation of their Commitments to contribute to the global target of reducing alcohol-related harm by 10% by 2025. This is the third Report, and the first since the ground-breaking Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed by governments in 2015.
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The Report showed 257 underage education initiatives implemented in 2015, a 49% increase on the previous year, with a significant increase in the number of countries engaged, from 57 to 82 countries. These programs directly engaged nearly 30 million unique adult influencers such as parents, teachers, and community leaders on the importance of respecting legal age limits on buying alcohol. Over 192 million additional individuals were reached through education programs, mass media and social media campaigns.
This acceleration is also evident in the signatories' engagement with key stakeholders to reduce underage drinking through the enforcement of Legal Purchase Age (LPA). Producers' supported implementation and enforcement of age limits through more than one million engagements with government agencies, law enforcement, and retailers in 2015.
"It is good to see our programs being expanded," said Carlos Brito, CEO AB InBev, Chair of the IARD CEO Group. "However, we could not have achieved this progress on our own. It has been the result of collaboration with an ever-increasing number of industry associations, governments, NGOs, and retailers. But our efforts are far from over and we will work hard to continue to expand our partnerships and initiatives around the world to reduce the harmful use of alcohol."
The programs' achievements build on five Commitments made by the CEOs of the world's leading producers of beer, wine, and spirits to help tackle alcohol-related harm: reducing underage drinking, strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice, providing consumer information and responsible product innovation, reducing drinking and driving, and enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking. They believe that working with other stakeholders, including governments and community organizations, to reduce alcohol-related harm benefits society and their businesses alike.
"The results from the third year of this five-year program show real progress against the global Commitments made in 2012," said Ann Keeling, IARD CEO. "Programs have increased in terms of the number of countries, and it is particularly positive to see pilot programs being funded and continued by governments and other partners at the national level."
2015 - Key achievements on the Five Commitments:
The latest progress report released by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), Secretariat to the Commitments is based on key performance indicators developed by Accenture Strategy, who also support the annual data collection process. The data and report have been assured by KPMG Sustainability.
Reducing underage drinking
Enforcement of underage drinking laws is a societal challenge that is only possible through expanded cooperation among governments, enforcement agencies, and retailers. In 2015, the 12 signatories reported more than 1 million engagements, primarily engaging retailers, to uphold LPA laws. Also recognizing the important role that parents and educators have on the values of young people, these programs targeted key adults to reduce underage drinking. The number of adult influencers collectively reached with education programs increased to nearly 30 million in 2015.
Strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice
In 2015, an alternative method for assessing advertising placement was adopted to address who was being reached by alcohol advertising in data-poor environments. This information is critical to ensuring that company marketing is directed to adults, as intended. The 2015 data demonstrates that in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, the three countries studied, alcohol advertising by signatory companies exceeded the industry standard for reaching adult audiences.
Almost half the countries where signatory companies are commercially active have included independent non-industry participation in their self-regulatory process for alcohol advertising.
Providing consumer information and responsible product innovation
Social media and digital communications complement industry programs to engage consumers about the responsible consumption of alcohol, reaching individuals across all regions. The consumer information website, http://www.responsibledrinking.org/, launched in May 2015, along with other individual company and industry-supported sites, give consumers access to full and accurate information about alcohol products so they can make more informed choices about drinking responsibly or abstaining.
Reducing drinking and driving
In 2015, four additional pilot programs to address drinking and driving were launch by IARD in collaboration with signatories in Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Namibia, and South Africa for a total of nine countries currently running pilots.
In 2015, IARD members and industry organizations supported 345 drinking and driving prevention programs, reaching 99 countries across all seven regions.
Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking
The Guiding Principles on Responsible Retailing were published in November 2015 at the World Retail Congress in South Africa. These principles identify standards for encouraging responsible retailing worldwide through an emphasis on enforcement of legal purchase age, minimizing binge or excessive drinking at retail establishments, promoting road safety through safe transport options, and highlighting features of a safe retail environment. A total of 251 local responsible retailing initiatives have been rolled out in 75 countries where signatories are commercially active, up by nearly 20% from the previous year.
Notes to editors
For more information, and to read the full report, please visit: http://www.producerscommitments.org/
There are 12 signatories to the Commitments: Anheuser-Busch InBev; Asahi Group Holdings; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Diageo; Heineken; Kirin Holdings Company; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller.
IARD is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the global public health issue of harmful drinking and promoting responsible drinking. As a global public health NGO, we partner with public, civil society and private stakeholders to advance our mission. We support global efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, the Non-Communicable Diseases Global Monitoring Framework target of "at least 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol" by 2025, and the Sustainable Development Goal 3.5, "Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol."
IARD is supported by its Member Companies among beer, wine, and spirits producers in their common purpose of being part of the solution to the harmful use of alcohol. The producers initially signed the Commitments in October 2012, when they agreed to undertake a series of actions over five years with the goal of strengthening and expanding existing efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
SOURCE International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)
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