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The Whole World is Celebrating Sustainability! Why is There No Booze at this Party? by Krista Delisle

Posted by: | April 29, 2014 Comments Off on The Whole World is Celebrating Sustainability! Why is There No Booze at this Party? by Krista Delisle |

According to the breweries website, they pursue sustainability in three concrete ways:

Building green, keeping it green, and “do what you can”.  Building green refers to the physical infrastructure.  The brewery was built in an existing building, using salvaged materials, and low energy and water fixtures.  Keeping it green describes the quest to keep finding new ways to be “green” such as only offering water to customers upon request.  Finally, “do what you can” refers to volunteering and supporting local charities.

Alcohol brands can also participate in corporate philanthropy.  In a study of corporate responsibility practices in the alcohol industry, it was found that corporate philanthropic activities in the alcohol industry are characterized by social outreach and sponsorship of the arts and cultural events. The researchers disturbingly suspect that the motivation behind these philanthropic activities lies in promoting growth in economies with large youth populations.  One example is Pernod Ricard, whose brands include such popular choices as Absolut, Jameson, and Malibu.  They funded vaccinations and health education in rural India in 2011.  AB In Bev, better known as Anheuser-Busch, donated money to assist the children of migrant workers in China the year before.  The thought that these companies might be doing these acts in hopes that those children will later be their customers is disturbing to me, but the numbers seem to lean in that direction.  Pernod Ricard reported a 14% growth in China, and 25% in India for ultra-premium brands.  While I obviously encourage health education in India, I have difficulty in supporting the company in light of the motivation. This is reminiscent of the conversation we previously had concerning Walmart.  Can we be sated by a result and ignore the motivation behind it?

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