Ahead of World Oceans Day today, a combined effort of more than 500 staff from Pernod Ricard in the UK: Pernod Ricard UK, Chivas Brothers and the Global Travel Retail division, sprang into action to tackle water and land pollution.
Activities took place across the UK including in central Scotland, where a 121-strong team of green-fingered employees headed to the River Clyde at Renfrew to restore the river bank. Throughout the day, employees helped to prune and cut back shrubs as well as clear litter from the water to create a cleaner habitat for wildlife to flourish.
The project was led by Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, in partnership with the River’s Trust and The Clyde Foundation.
The restoration of the River Clyde is one of many global activities that form part of Responsib’All Day, a global day of action which sees 18,500 employees from Pernod Ricard affiliates around the world dedicate time and resources to support the group’s year-long global sustainability commitments.
Sandrine Ricard, Head of Sustainability and Responsibility, for Chivas Brothers, said:
“It was fantastic to see all our employees join together to restore the banks of the River Clyde. This great water resource is recovering from centuries of man-made pollution and alterations to the banks and bed. By assisting with the clean-up we are able to positively impact our communities providing local residents with a cleaner space and helping to improve the water quality in the river.
“This year’s Responsib’All Day activities are just a glimpse of our sustainability actions; we want to use this activity to set the foundations for building a legacy. Sustainability underpins everything we do and in the next stage of our journey we want to make an even bigger impact by calling on our colleagues, customers and other businesses to join us in taking action.”
Janice Kennedy, a Technical Agent at Chivas Brothers took part in the activity and said:
“It is fantastic to join with colleagues from all over Central Scotland to really make a difference in tackling water and land pollution in the heart of our community. I’m really proud to be playing a part in helping improve the River Clyde for the better. Having an opportunity to take part in this global day of action means we can truly dedicate our time and effort to the environment.”
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, commented: “Congratulations Pernod Ricard on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment. We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses.
“We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single use plastics. Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating all avoidable plastic waste and we will continue to take decisive action protect our precious environment.”
It is the first time the trio of businesses have aligned under a common theme, supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Life on Land’. Both water and biodiversity are key to Pernod Ricard’s business and the Group believes companies have a responsibility to lead on environmental protection.
Additional projects saw teams across the country complete litter picks by the River Thames and at beachside locations around the UK including in Brighton, The Wirral, South West and Southend. In addition, Rain gardens were developed at Chiswick House & Gardens in London in a bid to reduce flooding, while in Speyside, Scotland, teams worked to restore the banks of the River Deveron.
Pernod Ricard signed a partnership with Impact 2030 to bring together figures from the private sector, civil society and academia to encourage company employees to help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responsib’All Day is just one activity which aims to support these goals. Most recently, Pernod Ricard announced a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers across its business.