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

"DRINK SMART" approach by the Suntory Group

Harmful use of alcohol can impact not only the individual's health, both physical and mental, but also harm to others including family, workplace and community through a variety of social issues.

Reducing alcohol misuse is one of the global health targets established by the World Health Organization. In Japan, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare adopted the "Basic Plan for Promotion of Measures against Alcohol-related Harm" in 2016 to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harms, including alcohol use disorder, putting them as a national priority.

"Knowing the facts about alcohol and enjoying it responsibly helps people enjoy healthy and balanced lifestyles" - this is our "DRINK SMART" goal.

Reducing harmful use of alcohol is an important issue for society, and the Suntory Group actively promotes responsible consumption of alcohol and raising awareness of the importance of drinking in moderation - "Drink Smart" is the foundation of this principle.

Responsible Consumption - Suntory Group's Principle and Course of Action

Basic Principle

Suntory Group strives to prevent misuse of alcohol and raise awareness of responsible consumption thus contributing to healthier lifestyles:

  1. 1.
    We recognize the intoxicating effects of alcohol and its potential for misuse, which can lead to various physical, mental and social issues, and we strive to prevent alcohol-related harms.
  2. 2.
    We strive to create a culture of responsible consumption in which differences in physical constitution and conditions, as well as drinking styles or attitudes towards alcohol, are respected. We understand and respect that for some people, the best choice is not to consume alcohol.
  3. 3.
    We recognize that responsible consumption can support a well-balanced lifestyle and that it can play a positive role in social occasions; we strive to promote responsible consumption whenever alcohol is consumed.

Course of Action

  1. 1.
    We are committed to responsible marketing, providing consumer information and responsible product innovation.
  2. 2.
    We actively cooperate in social activities, including but not limited to;
    • -
      Eliminating underage drinking
    • -
      Eliminating binge drinking
    • -
      Eliminating drunk driving
  3. 3.
    We will comply with laws and industry standards.

Our Commitment to Address These Issues

In 1976, 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 to address alcohol-related harms and the Global ARS Department. We focus on (1) responsible marketing, (2) promoting responsible consumption among our consumers, customers and our employees.

  • *
    ARS:Alcohol producer's Responsibility to prevent alcohol related harms for pursuing the Sustainability of our business.

1.Practice responsible marketing

Responsible Marketing:

The Global ARS Department reviews all marketing activity for products containing alcohol prior to launch. We have a long- established a process for product labeling, a rigorous marketing code, and we continually update these voluntary standards through involvement with industry associations.

Continuous Enhancement of Marketing Standards (Industry / Internal)

We support and continuously enhance self-regulatory marketing standards in partnership with the Council on Alcohol Consumption, as well as follow our own internal marketing code to correspond with societal trends. We introduced warnings for pregnant and nursing mothers in all communications beginning in 2010. We also ceased TV ads between 5:00 am and 6:00 pm.
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 celebrities appearing in TV ads to 25 and older, and removing the sound effect of "gulp" when drinks go down the throat.

Voluntary Standards of Promotions/Advertising and Product Containers related to Alcoholic Beverages

1.Promoting Non-alcoholic Drinks

The Suntory Group is striving to promote low- and non-alcoholic beverages to respond to a broad range of consumer interests and occasions.
We established the same internal marketing standards on these products as beverage alcohol products in order to ensure that all marketing activity is directed only to legal drinking age adults in each region.
We will continue to introduce products to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers, including zero-calorie, sugar-free, and purine-free products.

Suntory Group's Non-alcoholic Drinks

2.Warning Labels on Package

All our beverage alcohol products carry health warning messages to pregnant and nursing women and warning messages to stop underage drinking, based on the voluntary standards established by the alcohol industry. We also put "お酒"- Beverage Alcohol symbols on beer and ready-to-drink beverages that are low in alcohol to prevent accidental consumption.

3.Establishing Age Verification Gates to Alcohol Brand Website

Since 2015, we have used age gates to confirm visitors to our alcohol brand websites are at least 20 years of age, the legal drinking age in Japan.

4.Conducting Seminars for Brand Managers

The Global ARS department conducts seminars for newly appointed brand managers twice a year to increase awareness of the voluntary standards the beverage alcohol industry has set, and Suntory's own marketing code. In the session, managers learn the discipline and practices of responsible marketing from product development to promotional activities with various case studies.

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 be aware of responsible drinking at all times. We clearly state in our employment regulation that any employee who drinks and drives during or outside the working hours will be dismissed under instruction.

Drink Smart Seminar

We conduct "Drink Smart Seminars" which discuss the facts about alcohol, including how individual differences, such as gender, height, weight and ethnicity affect alcohol metabolism.

Alcohol Metabolism Genetic Testing

We offer alcohol metabolism genetic testing to all employees for their consideration and to deepen understanding of responsible consumption.

Drink Smart Ambassadors

We encourage our employees to be a "Drink Smart Ambassador" who conducts Drink Smart Seminars for our customers and third parties.

Intracompany Website on Global ARS

Every employee can access information regarding responsible consumption, as well as our voluntary standards, examples of responsible marketing, and seminar tools.

In addition, we also raise awareness of responsible consumption among employees through educational movies, e-learning, and moderation campaign posters.

Raising Awareness of Responsible Consumption Among Consumers

We are committed to providing customers and consumers with information about alcohol so that they can make informed choices about alcohol and consume in moderation.
We provide the alcohol content information (in grams) of our major brands sold in Japan on our website, as one of new steps.

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

Our programs to promote responsible consumption have been recognized by key industry groups including the Award for Excellence in Independent Advertising for our moderation advertising campaign. In 2018, we received the Company BtoC Website Award for Excellence at 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 at the 38th Newspaper Advertising Prize event for our poster with ways to decline invitations to drink, and days to go without alcohol using soccer vocabulary and humorous illustrations.

Responsible Consumption Campaigns by Suntory

・Responsible Drinking

We have been advertising "Drink in Moderation" in national newspapers since 1986, to communicate responsible consumption through humor.

On Suntory's website, we feature DRINK SMART to promote moderate consumption for the healthier and well balanced lifestyle by understanding the facts about alcohol and enjoying it responsibly.

We conduct "Drink Smart Seminars" to provide the facts about alcohol and individual differences, such as how gender, height, weight and ethnicity can affect of alcohol metabolism. We also released "DRINK SMART MOVIE" for responsible drinking.

Two "DRINK SMART Short Film" (15 seconds each)

・Recommend Drinking in Moderation

Raising awareness about drinking in moderation with humorous illustrations and witty approach to decline invitations to drink on non-drinking days advertisement.

Original digital comic book on the weekend of three women enjoying alcohol beverages responsibly.

・Prevent the Abuse of Alcohol

We publish a Family Guide to Preventing Underage Drinking for children and their guardians.
We also conduct seminars at elementary and junior high schools.

In response to young people's interests, we produced and distributed a comic book for young people who are at least 20 years old to learn how to drink responsibly. We also conduct seminars at universities.

No Binge Drinking! Campaign, collaborated with NGOs - Council for the Prevention of Binge Drinking.

Responsible Drinking Initiatives by the Beverage Alcohol Producers Associations in Japan

We engage in the STOP! Underage Drinking Campaign twice a year primarily on public transportation advertisements.

We cooperate with the School Competition to Prevent Underage Drinking, which promotes school efforts to prevent underage drinking.

Railway station posters to alert platform accidents by intoxicated passengers - collaboration with JR West

We are providing information to prevent at-risk women from using alcohol irresponsibly.

We also have been putting health warning messages on our products, advertisement, and POP materials to prevent consumption of alcohol when pregnant.

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 ( 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.

  • IARD-CEO meeting (2019)

  • Progress Report

  • Joint Decleration of digintal media (2018), Trend report of underage drinking (2019)

Beam Suntory's Activities to Raise Awareness of Responsible Drinking

1) Reducing Drunk Driving

DWI Courts
Beam Suntory is a lead supporter of America's National Center for DWI Courts, designed to get hardcore offenders who are most likely to repeat the treatment they need in an evidence-based program.

2) Reducing High-risk Drinking in University

Building Resilience in Campus Communities (BRICC) Coalition
BRICC works to reduce high-risk drinking at individual, group, organization and community levels at the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

Link to Beam Suntory Drink Smart Website