Moderate and Responsible Drinking

Realization of Responsible Drinking

In order to realize the Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles, all Asahi employees recognize our responsibilities and act to reduce the inappropriate consumption of alcohol and address the challenges of the sound development of the alcohol beverage culture as a member of a corporate group that manufactures and sells alcohol beverages.

Overview of the Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles

  • Recognition and actions of employees
    To recognize our responsibilities and act accordingly as members of a corporate group that manufactures and sells alcohol beverages.
  • To prevent and reduce alcohol-related issues such as drink driving, under-age drinking, drinking during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and binge drinking.
  • Responsible marketing activities
    To comply with relevant regulations, industry standards and internal policies of Asahi Group Companies
  • Appropriate information disclosure
    To disclose appropriate product information to society, provide advice and messaging to consumers regarding responsible alcohol consumption, and work to disseminate the correct knowledge.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders
    To collaborate with other stakeholders in order to reduce the harmful use of alcoholic beverages.
  • Development of innovative products
    To develop innovative products which contribute to the sound development of the alcohol beverage culture by leveraging the knowledge and technology of the Asahi Group while utilizing the gifts of nature with pride in our great flavor.

Creating a Global Slogan to Promote Responsible Drinking in an Impactful Way “Responsible Drinking Ambassador”

To achieve the Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles, we have created the global slogan “Responsible Drinking Ambassador.” It was created to be shared among employees of the Asahi Group as a slogan that reminds them of their mission as employees at a glance. Having employees themselves take responsibility for “responsible drinking” and act to realize the Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles is the first step and a key aspect to achieving the Principles.
To cultivate awareness and facilitate the acquisition of knowledge as ambassadors, e-Learning programs on moderate and responsible drinking that were previously only offered by operating companies engaged in the manufacturing and sale of alcohol beverages will also be rolled out to operating companies that do not deal with alcohol beverages as part of awareness-raising efforts targeting Asahi Group employees.
By having each employee gain an awareness of responsible drinking and act accordingly as a Responsible Drinking Ambassador, we will continue to contribute to the sound development of the alcohol beverage culture.

Initiatives for Education and Public Awareness of Moderate and Responsible Drinking

To encourage moderate and responsible drinking in society and among consumers, the Asahi Group is working on education and public awareness activities to increase knowledge about drinking and to help prevent and reduce alcohol-related issues such as drink driving, underage drinking, drinking during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and binge drinking.
Each Group company works to develop these activities and initiatives effectively and glocally to embody the Principles in conformity with the legal systems, culture, and customs in each country and region.

“Towards a Good Relationship with Alcohol,” a Special Website (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

Asahi Breweries, Ltd. manages the website “Towards a Good Relationship with Alcohol” that can be accessed by all people who are familiar with alcohol, starting from under-aged (less than 20 years of age) who have yet to develop a taste for drinking to the elderly who are well-versed in it. By blending in text and illustrations from research case studies that are based on specific data, we oppose dangerous drinking patterns, and point out healthy ways to enjoy alcohol in an easy-to-understand manner.

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Educational Tool for Primary School Students – “What would you do? What could happen? – Learn about alcoholic beverages.” (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

As a part of its educational activities to prevent under-aged drinking (less than 20 years of age), Asahi Breweries, Ltd. developed in July 2007 an educational tool for primary school students entitled, “What would you do? What could happen?–Learn about alcoholic beverages.” It is distributed without charge to anyone who requests it. This four-page handy brochure can be used to supplement classroom material or school educational activities.
The brochure was extensively revised in November 2017 to improve clarity and to create a more family-oriented tool with additional content for parents and guardians. As of the end of December 2019, 802,500 the brochures have been distributed to primary, junior high and senior high schools throughout the country.
In March 2008, the tool won the Outstanding Performance Award in the Printed Material Division of the 6th Consumer Education Material Recognition sponsored by Supporters for Consumers. In 2009, this tool received the Special Prize after being selected out of the 2008 Outstanding Performance Award winners.

Circulation Of The Tool
2016 2017 2018 2019
32,294 72,264 40,124 31,352
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Initiatives Coordinated with “Alcohol-related Problem Awareness-raising Week” (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

The Asahi Group perceives “Alcohol-related Problem Awareness-raising Week,” which is based on the Basic Act on Measures Against Alcohol-Related Health Harm enacted in 2014, as an opportunity to consider attitudes and actions for promoting responsible alcohol consumption amongst all of its employees. During this Week, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. implements an e-learning program that is designed to encourage responsible drinking habits among employees.

Responsible Marketing Activities

Third-party monitoring

In Japan, a third-party organization, the Alcohol Advertising Review Committee , regularly monitors alcohol advertising in Japan.
In addition, Asahi Breweries Europe has introduced a system in which an advertising review committee headed by an external chairperson monitors for violations. This committee submits an annual report at the end of each year.

Developing Voluntary Standards and Policies

The Asahi Group has directed its marketing activities to encourage moderate and responsible drinking and to reduce harmful drinking. Based on the “Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles,” each Group company develops a policy and voluntary standards in conformity with the legal systems, culture and customs in its respective region and country and develops responsible marketing activities glocally.

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Initiatives in the Field of Digital Marketing

The Asahi Group works with other affiliate companies of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) to prevent minors from viewing alcohol-related websites and social media content in the increasingly visible digital field based on the alliance's Digital Guiding Principles.
Specifically, on websites and social media brand sites, we take action on the following five items.

<Five Initiatives Based on the IARD Digital Guiding Principles>
  1. Age-affirmation mechanism(Age Gate, confirming that a visitor is an adult before viewing information related to alcoholic beverages)
  2. Statement by the brand owner of the site (explicitly stating that the site is an official site)
  3. Warning that inappropriate user posts will be deleted (User Generated Content; “UGC”)
  4. Descriptions prohibiting sharing with minors (Forward Advice Notice; “FAN”)
  5. Message calling for moderate and responsible drinking (Responsible Drinking Message; “RDM.” Including a message such as “Drinking under the age of 20 is not permitted.”)

Cooperation with Other Alcohol Businesses and Alcohol Industry Organizations

Cooperation with International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)

The Asahi Group has long recognized the necessity of taking initiatives from a global perspective instead of viewpoints alone in Japan. In 2001, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. joined the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP), an international NPO, and has since been striving to solve alcohol-related problems by proposing policies and taking other measures in cooperation with other alcohol businesses and alcohol industry organizations.

In January 2015, ICAP integrated with the Global Alcohol Producers Group, which was established in 2005 to create opportunities for dialogue between major worldwide leading alcohol producers and alcohol production unions with the World Health Organization (WHO) to newly create the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). The IARD is involved in projects mainly concerned with appropriate drinking awareness activities, research regarding alcohol measures in different countries, the publishing industry and organizing forums.

As one of the 11 global alcohol beverage producers that are members of the IARD, the Asahi Group is a signatory to the IARD Producers' Commitments and is undertaking measures to meet those commitments.

IARD Producers' Commitments

1. Reducing underage drinking
2. Reducing drinking and driving
3. Strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice
4. Providing customer information and responsible product innovation
5. Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking

In September 2018, IARD issued a report on initiatives related to prevention of harmful drinking and strengthening of voluntary industry standards. The report introduces Asahi Breweries's educational activities to raise awareness about the harms of under-aged drinking (less than 20 years of age) and Asahi Breweries Europe's initiatives to promote alcohol-free pregnancies. The marketing policies of Asahi International and Asahi Breweries Europe are also covered.

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In January 2020, the 12 IARD member companies released a joint statement: “Actions to accelerate reductions in underage drinking.” The Asahi Group, in conjunction with IARD and its member companies, will tackle these five specific actions.

Actions to accelerate reductions in underage drinking

1. By 2024, we will introduce a legal age-restriction symbol or equivalent words on all of our alcohol brand products (including on alcohol-free extensions of alcohol brands).
2. We do not, and will not, market alcohol-free extensions of alcohol brands to minors.
3. We will implement online safeguards to prevent minors from seeing or interacting with our alcohol brands online.
4. We will invite retailers, wholesalers, and distributors to work with us to determine how to implement best-practice initiatives globally relating to age verification.
5. We will invite online retailers and delivery services to join us in developing global standards for the online sale of alcohol.
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Cooperation with the Brewers Association of Japan in Japan (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

The beer industry launched a campaign called “STOP! Under-Aged Drinking (less than 20 years of age) Project” in 2005 as an initiative for preventing under-aged drinking (less than 20 years of age). Five major beer manufacturers in Japan are promoting this cause in step with each other.

Logo of “STOP! Under-Aged Drinking (less than 20 years of age)”

Collaboration with New Zealand-based Alcoholic Beverage Industry Organization “Cheers!” (Asahi Holdings (Australia))

Asahi Holdings (Australia) is a member of the industry-funded organization “Cheers!” in New Zealand, through which it works to promote responsible drinking. “Cheers!” emphasizes health and safety, and conducts activities that aim to promote a culture of responsible drinking.

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Reinforcing Measures to Raise Employees' Awareness

Asahi Group communicates widely to large numbers of people about the importance of responsible drinking, and we are pursuing initiatives aimed at raising our employees' own awareness of the importance of responsible drinking in their daily lives.

e-Learning Regarding Alcohol (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

In 2016, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. launched an “e-Learning about Alcohol” program targeting all Asahi Breweries employees in Japan. In 2018 the program was expanded to cover all 11 subsidiaries of Asahi Breweries, Ltd.

In addition, all new Asahi Breweries, Ltd. employees who enter the company straight after graduating from university attend group training sessions on responsible drinking. These seminars include lectures on how new employees fresh out of university should approach alcohol, an introduction to the efforts of Asahi Breweries to encourage responsible drinking among the general public, and provision of information that they require as employees of a manufacturer of alcohol beverages. In 2018, 93 new employees attended these lectures.

e-Learning Regarding Alcohol (Asahi Breweries Europe)

Asahi Breweries Europe conducts e-learning courses on responsible drinking every year for all employees.
In addition, seminars on responsible drinking are provided to all newly hired employees.

Disclosure of Research Findings on Alcohol

The Asahi Group conducts research on alcohol metabolism and its physiological impacts, aiming to prevent social and health problems caused by drinking and build a better drinking culture. We are proactive in disclosing these research findings externally to make our efforts widely known among our stakeholders and receive the understanding and opinions of researchers specializing in physiological and medical research on alcohol.

We will continue to analyze in detail how the individual constitution and conditions of alcohol intake affect alcohol metabolism and the change in physiology, and we will edify our customers on moderate and responsible drinking based on those findings.

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