NORWALK, Conn., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo North America this week continued the company's long standing tradition of community service by enabling nearly 100 employees from its North American headquarters to perform a full day of volunteer service at Mill River Park in Stamford, Connecticut. Employee volunteers were from Diageo North America's finance team, which has held a large-scale annual community service event in the area for the past eleven years.
"Earth Day reminds us of the inextricable link we have with our environment. It's terrific to see Diageo volunteers come out in such strength to Mill River Park and demonstrate strong support by Diageo North America for what we are achieving here in restoring the environment at the Park," said Arthur Selkowitz, Mill River Park Collaborative Board Chair.
Employees undertook a range of impactful projects at the park, including river clean up, restoration of a walking path, and revitalization of the meadow area. An additional group initiative was the creation of a "rain garden" to enable rain water to flow through the park's grounds for filtration prior to flowing into the river. Members of Diageo's volunteer team also took on gardening duties across the park, as well as the task of refreshing the playground with fresh paint and mulch. In addition to people power, the company has committed funds to cover costs of materials and supplies, as well as an additional initiative to install solar panels for the park's greenhouse.
"We look forward to this event all year long, as it gives us a chance to step away from our desks and work as a group to make a visible improvement in part of our community," said Namita Subramanian, Vice President, Finance, Diageo-Guinness USA. "This year we chose to help beautify Mill River Park because its mission to connect people with nature aligns with one of Diageo's core focus areas – reducing our environmental impact and preserving the world around us."
In line with Diageo's ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, Diageo employees celebrate Earth Month with a range of events and activities across North America. Events are focused on conservation and community, and include: local park and river cleanups in Plainfield, Illinois and Relay, Maryland; beach clean-ups in Miami; a day of spring clean-up at Short Beach in Stratford, Connecticut, which is known for providing critical habitat for wildlife; installation of insectary plants and owl and bat boxes as alternatives to pesticide use at Provenance Vineyard in Napa; biodiversity awareness efforts in California; tree planting across Canada; sustainability scavenger hunts; carpooling incentives; a vehicle emission reduction competition; as well as numerous education and engagement sessions, recycling drives for e-waste, and other volunteer activities across Diageo's North American facilities and offices.
Diageo's commitment to community service extends across North America with hundreds of Diageo employees volunteering thousands of hours each year and contributing to numerous fundraising activities. Local Diageo employees have provided support for Norwalk Land Trust's Farm Creek Nature Preserve, Norwalk's Open Door Shelter, New York City's Church of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and Norwalk's Stepping Stones Museum for Children, among others. Nationally, Diageo is known for responding swiftly in times of need and, through its Spirit of the Americas program, has completed massive relief missions to areas impacted by natural disasters including Afghanistan, Haiti, Southeast Asia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Orleans, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Colorado and, most recently, the Philippines. Diageo proudly offers a volunteering policy that provides full time and reduced hour employees of Diageo North America one week leave each year to volunteer.
More broadly, with regard to its impact on the global community, Diageo has recently announced its commitment to new sustainability and responsibility targets for 2020, which are aligned with the emerging United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The 2020 goals reflect ambitions to best manage water stewardship and carbon emissions across the entire supply chain. For more details about Diageo's 2020 targets, visit http://www.diageo.com/en-row/csr/sustainability/Pages/2020-Sustainability-Responsibility-targets.aspx . To learn more about Diageo's overall global sustainability efforts to-date, view the company's 2014 Sustainability & Responsibility Report at http://www.diageo.com/en-row/NewsMedia/Pages/resource.aspx?resourceid=2317 .
One particular area of focus for Diageo is water stewardship and last week the company unveiled its global Water Blueprint. While much of the focus is on water-stressed areas in emerging markets, the company has also made strides in North America. Diageo has improved water efficiency across its North American sites by 21% since 2007. Of particular note, Diageo's Valleyfield, Quebec, site has improved its water use efficiency by over 32%, and at the George Dickel distillery in Tennessee, all water is processed so that it is either reused or returned to the local water source without impact, resulting in zero water waste leaving the site. In California, last year's redesign of the sprawling front lawn of Provenance Vineyards to include a multi-level hardscape with drought-tolerant plants has reduced water usage there by approximately 900,000 gallons a year. This winter, Diageo's Blossom Hill Winery completed a pilot project with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) to assess water use at the winery, improve understanding of the local watershed and create a water balance for the site that the company will use as a template for its other production locations. And in Shelbyville, Kentucky, Diageo is building a new distillery that was designed to minimize impacts to the on-site creeks and the adjacent lake through design elements like installing sediment ponds to capture and treat stormwater runoff and preserving a large buffer area around the lake; once the distillery opens in 2016, Diageo will monitor water sources, destinations and flows to properly manage the distillery's water balance which will be subject to the company's 2020 targets, one of which is to improve water efficiency by 50% by 2020. More details about Diageo North America's sustainable water initiatives can be found here.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.
SOURCE Diageo North America