Drinks giant Diageo makes good start with its first integrated report, but some questions about its sustainability performance remain unanswered

Diageo, one of the world’s biggest drinks companies, joins a growing trend of publishing key sustainability information in an integrated Annual Report.

The non-investor community hasn’t been forgotten, though. A suite of communications aiming to reach all audiences supports the integrated report. Those wanting a lighter read can get a good sense of Diageo’s sustainability priorities on the company’s sustainability and responsibility (S&R) website, while the real sustainability geeks can get their fix from an extensive supplement to the integrated report structure around the GRI G4 index and the UN Global Compact index.

Diageo opts for concise over comprehensive in its Annual Report, the company’s first foray into integrated reporting. Avoiding jargon, cutting out clichés and keeping the language simple makes it accessible and readable, and strong narrative brings the business’s personality to life. This is no mean feat for a publication that serves as the company’s financial report.

Successful integration

In year one of Diageo’s integration expedition the company has done a good job. The Annual Report provides a clear snapshot of the business and how S&R fits in. The chairman pays equal attention to S&R performance and more traditional aspects of business, although the CEO less so.

The two key elements of...

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