Guinness Nigeria, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc of the United Kingdom and Nigeria’s foremost total beverage alcohol company, held a media launch of its 2016 sustainability report yesterday, 15th February, 2017.
The event was held to brief the public of the company’s effort in touching the lives of Nigerians; economically, socially and environmentally. It was really a time for critical self-reflection to know how far they’ve gone in their sustainability projects from June 2015 to June 2016.
Dignatries at the event include; Mr. David Croft (Diageo’s global sustainable development director), Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu (Lagos Business School), Mr. Joseph Owolabi (Ernst and Young), Tim Cornell (United Purpose Nigeria), Mr. Tolani (Water Aid Nigeria), Mr. Olumide (IIT), among others.
Mr. Croft who gave the goodwill message, pointed out some of the challenges we have today, disclosing that about 57million Nigerians don’t have access to safe water, while about 130million don’t have good sanitation.
“In 2015, 109 Governments, including the Nigerian Government, came together through the United Nations, and adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and associated with that, 17 specific goals to try improve what the world will be like in 2030. Goals that include; Gender equality, climate change, poverty, hunger, education, better access to water and sanitation. That shows that business is aligned to that field, and we worked very closely to measure our performance increasingly against those, and that’s where our report also focuses and that’s how we started defining our shared value. And we’re working hard to make sure that Nigerians meet that SDG targets” he said.
Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu from Lagos Business School made a presentation which highlighted why sustainability report is important. According to her, businesses are affected by society negatively and positively and this sustainability report shows Guinness Nigeria in a different light.
Reviewing what the company achieved in 2016, Mr. Osita Abana (Guinness Nigeria Sustainability Report Manager) disclosed that Guinness Nigeria is working with FRSC (Federal Road Safety Commission), NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) and other agencies to ensure that underage Nigerians don’t consume alchohol and also promote responsible drinking messages. He also pointed out various projects launched by the company in 2016 which include; building thriving communities (which include flagship of “water of life” programme, which has touched the lives of 1.5million Nigerians), engaged in livelihood programmes, partnered with institutions like the Guinness Eye Centers at LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital) and also in Onitsha, awarded scholarships to young Nigerian Engineers to train at the National Power Training Institute Of Nigeria and also members of host communities, promoting schemes that affect women positively, working hard to make their products and business operations more environmentally sustainable and giving future awards to encourage young Nigerian Farmers.
Mr. Osita also disclosed that the company has about 37 water schemes spread across 22 states in Nigeria, and have also gone into partnership with NGOs like Water Aid and Oxpharm, who are enabling them to improve the durability and the impact of the water schemes. This include training community members and also providing them with tools to repair boreholes provided by the company.
The vote of thanks was given by Mr. Sesan Sobowale, who appealed to other companies to join hands with Guinness Nigeria, to make Nigeria a better place.
Here are more photos from the event;