Anheuser-Busch, Its Wholesalers Lead in Alcohol-Beverage Social Responsibility; Diageo, Beam Global, Brown-Forman Also Honored

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Anheuser-Busch Cos. (NYSE: BUD) and its wholesalers are the most socially responsible firms in the alcohol beverage industry. That's the results of an evaluation of corporate social responsibility efforts in the alcohol beverage industry by Kane's Beverage News Daily. Other companies honored for outstanding social responsibility programs include Beam Global Spirits & Wines (Fortune Brands), Diageo, Brown-Forman Corp.,Southern Eagle Distributong and Dana Distributors

Anheuser-Busch Cos. (NYSE: BUD) and its wholesalers are the most socially responsible firms in the alcohol beverage industry.

That's the results of an evaluation of corporate social responsibility efforts in the alcohol beverage industry by Kane's Beverage News Daily. Kane's is the leading hard-news daily newsletter serving all segments of the industry - beer, wine, spirits, as well as nonalcohol beverages such as carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and bottled water.

Anheuser-Busch uses a number of CSR initiatives to provide a unified platform highlighting and enhancing its role as the industry leader and as an overall corporate leader in social responsibility.

A-B's programs encompass alcohol awareness and education, philanthropy, community outreach and environmental programs. A-B notes that as a result of its efforts and others, drunk-driving fatalities have declined 36% since 1982; drinking among high school seniors is at the lowest level since tracking began, and drinking among college freshmen is down 44% since 1982 and at its lowest level since tracking began in 1966.

In addition to winning the overall top ranking, Anheuser-Busch also was honored for its efforts in corporate-community partnership (2d place among large suppliers); philanthropy for its "Here's to its Heroes" program that honors American servicemen; its employee volunteer program, its employee relations program, environmental programs and for effective media relations.

Brown-Forman Corp.(NYSE: BFA and BFB), which produces and markets Jack Daniel's and other leading wine and spirits brands, was honored for the best annual corporate social responsibility report.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, a unit of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), was tops in the Corporate-Community Partnership category for its sponsorship of DWI Courts. Southern Eagle Distributing, an Anheuser-Busch distributor IN Ft. Pierce, Fla., was the largest wholesaler winner in the category, while Dana Distributors, an A-B distributor serving Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties in New York State, was the winner in the small distributor category.

Diageo (NYSE: DEO), the world's leading premium drinks business with brands in the spirits, wine and beer categories, was second place in the corporate citizenship category. Diageo took top honors in diversity communications and tied with A-B in the employer volunteer program.

Diageo won the cause branding category for its partnership with Washington Redskins.

As noted, Anheuser-Busch's brewing unit won the philanthropy category for its relief efforts during natural disasters. A-B's Sea World/Busch Gardens subsidiary was also recognized with a special honor for its conservation fund.

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Joel Whitaker
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