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As a company dedicated to responsible manufacturing and sales of alcoholic beverages, we play an active role in addressing alcohol-related issues.

Ideal DRINK SMART Approach of the Suntory Group

Alcohol has been brewed in variety of regional cultures and climates around the world since long ago. It has played a large role in a variety of celebrations and auspicious events while bringing joy and cheer to daily life. However, alcohol can lead to various negative consequences when consumed inappropriately.
Having the correct knowledge about alcohol and enjoying it appropriately brings people healthier and richer lifestyles. This is our DRINK SMART ideal.

For Responsible Drinking — Suntory Group's Basic Principle and Course of Action (established 2002)

Basic Principle

Suntory Group recognizes the characteristics of alcohol beverages and strives to prevent alcohol-related issues and raise awareness of responsible drinking thus contributing to a healthier living.

  1. 1.
    We recognize the intoxicating effects of alcohol and its tendency to cause dependency that leads to various physical, mental and social issues, and we strive to prevent alcohol-related problems.
  2. 2.
    We strive to create a better drinking environment in which differences in physical constitution and conditions, as well as drinking styles or attitudes towards alcohol are respected.
  3. 3.
    We recognize that responsible drinking is beneficial for physical and mental health and that it plays a positive role in social occasions; we strive to promote scientific research on alcohol and disseminate knowledge on responsible ways to enjoy drinking.

Course of Action

  1. 1.
    We strive to disseminate accurate knowledge of drinking.
  2. 2.
    We actively cooperate in social activities.
    • -
      Preventing underage drinking
    • -
      Preventing binge drinking
    • -
      Preventing drunk driving, etc.
  3. 3.
    We will comply with laws and voluntary industry standards.
  4. 4.
    We will engage in and support medical research related to alcohol and health.

A Dedicated Body for Addressing Issues

In 1976, the Suntory Group formulated the Suntory Advertising Code, making it an industry leader in exercising self-regulation in its promotions and advertising related to alcoholic beverages. We subsequently established the ARS* Committee dedicated to addressing alcohol-related issues and the ARS Department. We (1) practice responsible marketing, (2) raise awareness about responsible drinking both within and outside the company, and (3) participate in, cooperate with, and support research institutions.

  • *
    ARS: Alcohol Responsibility and Sustainability

1. Practice responsible marketing

Practice responsible marketing

The ARS Department runs a prior internal review on every marketing activity for alcoholic products to check its legality and validity. Inappropriate marketing activities are prevented beforehand through this review.
In 2006, we have systemized a prior review for product labeling and in 2007, marketing code for ads and commercials was revised to further enhance the initiative. We keep revising these voluntary standards through involvement with industry associations even after 2007 to continue the promotion of responsible marketing activities.

Revision of Voluntary Standards In-line with the Social Demands (Industry-wide/Internally)

We support and continuously revise voluntary standards of the alcohol industry formulated by the Liaison Council On Alcohol Consumption, as well as follow our own internal voluntary standards so that they are in-line with the social demands. We introduced captions to warn pregnant and nursing mothers in commercials in 2010. We are also conducting self-censorship of television advertisements between 5:00 am and 6:00 pm by expanding our self-censorship of television commercials on weekends and holidays from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm to 5:00 am to 6:00 pm around the year.
Based on the "Alcohol Health Disorder Countermeasures Basic Law" enacted in 2014, we are taking independent measures to prevent the abuse of alcohol such as setting the age of actors that appear in our TV commercials to 25 or older, and removing the sound effect of "gulp" when drinks go down the throat.

Promoting Non-alcoholic Drinks

The Suntory Group is striving to promote low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks for a broad range of customers to enjoy without worrying about the effects of alcohol.
At the same time, we have put in place and adhere to internal standards that assume only adults of the appropriate drinking age according to the laws in each region drink these non-alcoholic beverages because of their similar taste to alcoholic drinks.
In the future, we will continue to expand these products in addition to meeting the needs of health-conscious consumers, including further sales of zero-calorie, sugar-free, purine-free products.

2. Activities to raise awareness of responsible drinking

Raising Awareness of Responsible Drinking among Employees

As a member of a company that manufactures and sells alcoholic beverages, it is important to raise awareness of responsible drinking. We are raising awareness among employees of Group companies in Japan through establishing a webpage "What each employee in the Group can do to avoid making alcohol a villain" made by the ARS Department on our Intranet. We also state in our employment regulation that employee who drinks and drives during work or outside of working hours will be dismissed under instruction.
In addition, from 2015 we have been holding seminars and alcohol tolerance tests on responsible drinking for employees. These seminars and tests are designed to raise the consideration towards others and understanding of responsible drinking, as well as to let the employees know about their own alcohol metabolism and tolerance.

Raising Awareness of Responsible Drinking Among customers

Initiatives Unique to Suntory

As a company that manufactures alcoholic beverages, we engage in initiatives to make our customers to have proper understanding of the characteristics of alcohol and appropriate way of drinking.

Suntory has received multiple awards for its activities to raise awareness of responsible drinking

Our activities to raise awareness of responsible drinking are highly praised from every perspective. In 2002 we received the the Award for Excellence in Independent Advertising in the 22nd Newspaper Advertising Prize event sponsored by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association for our moderation advertising campaign which communicates the message "Drink in Moderation." Last year in 2018 we received the Company BtoC Website Award for Excellence in the 6th Web Grand Prix sponsored by the Web Advertising Bureau of the Japan Advertisers Association, Inc. for our DRINK SMART advertising on our website. In addition, we received the Newspaper Advertisement Award in the 38th Newspaper Advertising Prize event for our poster with fantastic ways to decline invitations to drink on non-drinking days using soccer vocabulary and humorous illustrations. Please see the section below for more details.

Initiative Year of start Overview  
Raising awareness about drinking in moderation through the moderation campaign (advertising about responsible drinking) 1986 “Drink in Moderation." We published nearly 200 moderation ads to communicate this message in national newspapers through the end of 2018. (Presented the Award for Excellence in the Independent Advertising in the 22nd Newspaper Advertising Prize in 2002)
Renewing the Drink in Moderation Enlightenment Homepage 2017 Renewal Live an even healthier, richer life by understanding alcohol correctly and enjoying it properly. We positioned this philosophy as DRINK SMART in the renewal of our homepage. We also now support SNS.
In 2018 we received the Company BtoC Website Award for Excellence in the 6th Web Grand Prix sponsored by the Web Advertising Bureau of the Japan Advertisers Association, Inc. for this website. DRINK SMART
https://www.suntory.co.jp/arp/
Raising awareness about drinking in moderation with our ways to decline invitations to drink on non-drinking days advertisement 2018 We received the Newspaper Advertisement Award in the 38th Newspaper Advertising Prize event sponsored by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association for our poster with fantastic ways to decline invitations to drink on non-drinking days using soccer vocabulary and humorous illustrations which was part of our sustainability activities and praised for its witty and humorous approach to raising awareness. This poster is used to raise awareness about drinking inside and outside the Suntory Group.
Cooperation with the No Binge Drinking! Campaign (Host: Council for the Prevention of Binge Drinking) 1993 We continue our cooperation with the design and novelty planning with our sponsorship from the first campaign held by the Council for the Prevention of Binge Drinking. This council was formed in October 1992 by the families of those who have died of binge drinking.
Published a Family Guide to Preventing Underage Drinking 2005 We publish a Family Guide to Preventing Underage Drinking education materials in cooperation with Gakken Plus Co., Ltd. for children and their guardians and freely distribute these educational materials with focus on elementary schools throughout Japan. In 2017, we also created educational videos to prevent underage drinking in response to the need for an educational site. We are also conducting school visits during which we use these educational materials. We made it possible to view pamphlets and videos on our DRINK SMART site.
Published a Guide to Raise Awareness About Drinking in Moderation Among University Students 2018 In response to the needs of educational sites, in collaboration with Gakken Plus Co., Ltd. and Tezuka Productions, we produced comic booklet for university students who are at least 20 years old to learn how to drink responsibly which is distributed free of charge to educational institutions. We are also conducting visits to universities, etc. during which we use these educational materials. We made it possible to view this comic on our DRINK SMART site.
Raising Awareness to Prevent Drinking and Driving 2006 At our overseas companies, we introduced a "Designated Driver Program" - a system wherein at least one person per vehicle is designated as a sober driver at restaurants, etc. which we implement when we hold tours at our plants. Upon the arrival of visitors, we confirm the names of people who will be driving, and double-check them in the tasting room, so that the drivers are given only non-alcoholic drinks. Furthermore, Dynac Corporation which operates restaurants posts "No underage drinking" and "No drunk driving" sticker in every store.
Initiatives Linked to the Industry

We actively participate in and serve as a member of the industry initiatives, such as the Brewer's Association of Japan and the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association.

Initiative Year of start Overview  
Initiatives to prevent underage drinking 2005 We engage in the STOP! Underage Drinking project twice a year (spring/winter) primarily on transportation advertisements (train stations/stickers).
Initiatives to prevent underage drinking 2002 We are putting out posters, slogans, and school nomination campaigns since 2002. In 2017, this program was renamed the School Competition to Prevent Underage Drinking. This competition solicits and commemorates school efforts to prevent underage drinking.
Initiatives to prevent underage drinking 2015 We have been establishing age verification gates to confirm people entering alcohol brand homepages and websites are at least 20 years of age starting in 2015.
Initiatives to prevent drinking by pregnant and nursing mothers 2008- We have been adding warning messages on media such as the labeling of product containers, materials to promote alcohol like POP as well as television commercials.
Activities to raise awareness of responsible drinking for women 2017 We are promoting the correct knowledge on homepages and introducing alcohol tolerance tests to prevent at-risk women from using alcohol inappropriately as the number of at-risk women grows with the increasing number of professional women and the changes in their lifestyles.

Global Initiatives to Reduce Alcohol Issues

The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol in 2010. Reduction of harmful effects of alcohol is one of the goals of the action plan for NCD (non-communicable diseases/lifestyle-related diseases) prevention established in 2013 as well as one of the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the health field established in 2015, and it is positioned as one of the global problems that must be addressed through cooperation with national governments, specialists from public health organizations, and other related parties. The manufactures of alcohol beverages are regarded as important stakeholders in these efforts.
The Suntory Group is participating in the IARD organization (http://www.iard.org/) that makes efforts to promote responsible drinking internationally to respond to these alcohol-related issues. Since 2013, we have been working to promote the Industry Commitment for Reducing Harmful Use of Alcohol which involves major alcohol beverage manufacturers from around the world.
The progress of the Industry Commitment is published as a Progress Report after annual audits by an auditor.
The Suntory Group has established a company section dedicated to reducing harmful use of alcohol, regularly holds Global ARS Committee meetings, and consolidates global marketing regulations under the mid-to-long-term vision in order to realize responsible marketing activities on a global level and raise awareness of responsible drinking.
The Suntory Group Drink Smart® global program is expanding priorities such as preventing underage drinking and drunk driving, as well as raising awareness of drinking in moderation and consideration for people that choose not to drink, and promotes responsible decision making through its proprietary platform.

About the IARD

The IARD (International Alliance for Responsible Drinking) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington D.C. in which 11 of the major alcoholic beverage manufacturers from around the world participate.
Suntory Group has participated in the IARD since its establishment as Beam Suntory and has also been deeply involved in the formulation of the Industry Commitment for Reducing Harmful Use of Alcohol, an effort by the alcoholic beverage industry in response to the World Health Organization's Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol (adopted in 2010).
The Industry Commitment for Reducing Harmful Use of Alcohol promoted five initiatives over a five-year period starting in 2013.

  • (1)
    Reduction of alcohol consumption by minors
  • (2)
    Development and strengthening of industry voluntary standards on expression of drinking
  • (3)
    Responsible product development and disclosure of information to consumers
  • (4)
    Drunk driving reduction
  • (5)
    Strengthening of collaboration with the retail field

Commitment related progress reports and evaluations are conducted by third parties and reported annually in the form of a progress report. Suntory Group's efforts in major markets including Japan and the United States have been reported and evaluated, including the distribution of educational materials for parents and children to prevent underage drinking in Japan and education programs for drunk driving offenders in conjunction with traffic courts in the United States. These efforts unique to Suntory as well as collaborative efforts with liquor associations in various countries have been highly praised.
In addition, an IARD CEO meeting is held annually during which serious discussions take place on matters that the liquor industry should tackle over the medium-to-long term and on a global level.

  • Progress Report

  • IARD-CEO meeting (September 2018)

  • IARD-CEO meeting (September 2018)

  • Consultations with Beam Suntory

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